Japan’s federal R,D&D budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts April 1, 2016, is 37.1 billion yen (285 million Euro), according to a recent report from Technova, a Japanese advanced technology consultancy. The total includes continuing support for the successful Ene-Farm residential fuel cell program, which will support an estimated 50,000 residential installations this year. The program had been scheduled to end in 2015, but its success, and the government’s strategic commitment to residential fuel cells, has led to continuing support for at least another year.
Other major programs include support for hydrogen fueling station deployment: the government has a goal of 100 stations, with 81 open or under way today. Research into the bulk shipment of hydrogen saw an increase though overall spending on hydrogen R&D will decline.
These totals do not include direct support for fuel cell vehicle purchases of 2 million yen per vehicle. If one assumes 1,500 FCEVs sold in Japan next year, a reasonable guess given demand for Toyota’s Mirai and Honda’s entry early in 2016 with a redesigned Clarity, the cost of the vehicle program could reach three billion yen (23 million Euro).
The new target date for completion of the current build-out of hydrogen fueling stations in Southern Japan is now March, 2016, according to HySUT, the Japanese private sector collaborative that developed the first generation of hydrogen stations. The latest total of stations operating or under development is 81, including mobile fueling sites, with 37 in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the rest located across southern Japan, extending past Fukuoka to Saga in southwest Japan. As of October 1, 28 stations were operating.
- reported the progress in a presentation at the 2015 Fuel Cell Seminar in Los Angeles, CA, November 17.
- will spend at least the next two years focusing on technical issues such as station performance and new technologies.
- has also taken on a coordinating role in behalf of the auto industry in what it calls “support programs aiming to stimulate demand for FCEVs”. This includes training and employee education but also data gathering, analysis and information sharing on issues relating to customer satisfaction.
- will also exchange some data with the US Department of Energy, quite an unusual step for Japan.
Author: Robert Rose