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Public/Private Partnership Eyes Hydrogen-Powered Supply Chain

September 10, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

toyotaPublic and the private organizations in Japan are working together to create carbon-neutral supply chains across the power generation, vehicle fueling and other sectors, according to Toyota.

The company said that the consortium will test a carbon-neutral hydrogen-powered supply chain near Yokohama and Kawasaki in the Keihin region.

Electrolysis is a main way to create hydrogen. However, the approach generally requires electricity. A research goal of the group is to develop carbon-neutral ways of generating the hydrogen. The plan has four goals:

  • Creating a system to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing water using wind power.
  • Creating a system to optimize storage and transportation of hydrogen produced.
  • Creating a usable fuel cell forklifts.
  • Creating a hydrogen supply chain feasibility study (hydrogen price, CO2 reduction, etc.).

David Goldstein, the Co-Director of the Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco, addressed energy savings opportunities in the supply chain in a post at Energy Manager Today late last month:

A new study that I presented last week shows there are large new opportunities that have never appeared in efficiency potentials studies before. These opportunities reside in the supply chain for industry–the energy used to manufacture the parts and supplies that go into the production of a good. This applies to every single good in the market, both those sold to consumers and those sold to other production facilities. For example, while auto manufacturing consumes a lot of energy, and provides large opportunities for efficiency, even greater savings can be found in the manufacture of the auto parts that suppliers sell to the car manufacturers assembling them into a final product.

The research project will last for four years.

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