Home > About TOSHIBA > CSR > Past Highlight > Highlight of FY 2014 Activities 1: Use of Hydrogen Energy

CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility
Committed to People, Committed to the Future.

Highlight of FY 2014 Activities 1: Use of Hydrogen Energy Contributing to solving energy problems by using hydrogen derived from renewable energy sources

Most of the energy we consume comes from exhaustible resources such as fossil fuels.

The reserve of oil in particular is estimated to only last for another 53 years*1. At the same time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has calculated that global energy demand will increase 1.4 times between 2012 and 2040*2.

In light of these circumstances, the shift to renewable energy is an urgent task, not only for tackling climate change, but also to prevent the exhaustion of resources. To this end, there is need to develop a stable renewable energy supply system that is not dependent on weather conditions. Among the possible solutions, hydrogen power—a clean and sustainable next-generation energy source—is receiving increased attention as an effective secondary energy source for advancing the use of renewable energy.

  • *1: Estimation by BP (2013)
  • *2: IEA(International Energy Agency), World Energy Outlook 2014

Overview Highlight 1: Use of Hydrogen Energy (PDF:775KB)

Global social issues and their solutions

Perspective of world energy demand

Perspective of world energy demand

Confirmed amount of energy resources (Ratio of reserves to production*3)

Confirmed amount of energy resources (Ratio of reserves to production)

To Top

Toshiba Group’s problem-solving approach

Working towards a safe, secure and comfortable society with hydrogen derived from renewable energy sources

While oil, natural gas, hydraulic and solar power are ‘primary’energy sources, which are directly harvested from the natural world, hydrogen is a ‘secondary’ energy source, which is generated from primary energy. Toshiba aims to bring about the realization of a next-generation hydrogen economy, that uses energy efficiently by converting renewable energy—which is difficult to store or transport—into hydrogen, which has the advantage of being able to be generated, stored and transported, before being put to use.

The world’s hydrogen-related market, which consists mainly of fuel-cell cars, hydrogen power generation, and stationary fuel cells, is expected to expand to 40 trillion yen by 2030, and 160 trillion yen by 2050. Accordingly, the price of hydrogen—a key factor in the future of hydrogen power—is rapidly falling.

At Toshiba, we are developing a business for comprehensive energy solutions that combines photovoltaic and wind power generation systems, SOEC (Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell; a water electrolysis system, which is a key component in hydrogen production) and hydrogen energy storage systems. We are working towards a sustainable, safe, secure and comfortable society with CO2-free hydrogen derived from renewable energy.

Toshiba Group’s business areas in the hydrogen value chain

Toshiba Group’s business areas in the hydrogen value chain

To Top

INDEXToshiba’s performance indicators to realize a hydrogen economy

  • SOEC will aid in lowering the price of hydrogen by improving the efficiency of conversion.

    The hydrogen production efficiency
    of the SOEC system (kWh/Nm3)

    Target for 2020 Approx.30%Up Compared to traditional methods

  • Hydrogen energy storage systems are expected to play a key role in promoting the implementation of renewable energy.

    The chargedischarge efficiency of
    electricity storage systems

    At 2014 Approx.40%Up

    By 2020 80

To Top

ActivityWorld’s first* autonomous energy supply system using hydrogen

Joint testing with Kawasaki City

In April 2015, we started testing H2One™, an autonomous energy supply system that uses renewable energy and hydrogen. The test site is at Kawasaki, where Toshiba’s headquarters is based, in Kawasaki Marien, a designated temporary refuge area for those unable to get home in times of disaster. The H2One™ is a system that combines photovoltaic power generation, storage cells, a water electrolysis system that produces hydrogen, and fuel cells.

Renewable energy has the disadvantage that its energy output is affected by factors such as weather. However, by converting renewable energy into hydrogen, which can be stored for long periods, it is possible to secure a stable supply of energy.

H2One™ produces hydrogen by electrolyzing water with electricity generated from solar power, and then uses fuel cells to convert the stored hydrogen to provide electricity and hot water. Since it can operate on water and solar power alone, it can provide a week’s worth of electricity and hot water to 300 evacuees, even when critical infrastructure is nonoperational during times of disaster.

Use in disaster-stricken areas and in areas yet to be supplied with electricity

One aspect of H2One™ is that the equipment itself can be transported in a container, so it can be transported to disasterstricken areas in times of largescale natural disasters to support those in need. We are currently developing a downsized version of the system, cutting it down from the current 20 ft to 12 ft.

We are also working on models for isolated islands and areas in developing nations which do not yet have electric power. By providing cheap, stable electricity and hot water that do not depend on fossil fuels, we aim to contribute to solving the world’s energy challenges in various ways.

  • *As container packaged system with BCP functionality

Overview of H2One™, an autonomous energy supply system

Overview of H2One™, an autonomous energy supply system

VOICE From our base at Hydrogen Energy Research & Development Center,
we will disseminate the blueprints for the hydrogen economy envisaged by Toshiba.

Hiroyuki Ota Senior Manager
New Energy Solution Project
Toshiba Corporation

From April 2014, Toshiba has been advancing the development of a business model that uses nextgeneration energy sources as a Groupwide endeavor. With regard to hydrogen in particular, which is expected to reach general use in the 2020s, we have been developing an energy solutions business centered around the twin concepts of a “hydrogen supply chain” and “local production for local consumption.” We are also working on hydrogen energy storage systems and hydrogen power generation.

The Hydrogen Energy Research & Development Center, which was opened at the Fuchu Complex in April 2015, will serve as a site for the development and demonstration of solutions integrating hydrogenrelated energy technologies, and also as the base for the dissemination of hydrogen infrastructure plans. From now on, the center will aim to create machines and services that use hydrogen in safe ways that feel familiar to people, and to disseminate information to promote understanding and awareness concerning hydrogen.

To Top

Medium- to Long-Term VisionEstablishment of a global supply chain of hydrogen

Towards sustainable and price-competitive hydrogen power generation

In order to realize a sustainable hydrogen economy, it is necessary to produce and consume huge amounts of carbonfree hydrogen using renewable energy making hydrogen prices more competitive.

Currently, the price of hydrogen for fuelcell automobiles is roughly 100 yen/Nm3 (as of February 2015), but the target is around 30 yen/Nm3. Making hydrogen power generation more practical, together with fuelcell cars (which are expected to become more commonplace in the future), is a necessary step in lowering the price of hydrogen, and in realizing a hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen society drawn by Toshiba

Toshiba aims to build a global supply chain of hydrogen that derives electricity from renewable energy. This involves producing hydrogen at largescale in windpower generation facilities with good wind conditions and high power generation efficiency, storing and transporting the hydrogen in the form of liquid hydrogen, and generating power using highefficiency hydrogenfueled gas turbines.

We are conducting research and development towards the realization of this goal. On top of developing a highefficiency hydrogengenerating electrolysis system, we are developing mid to large sized generators that use hydrogen as a fuel. We hope to have the principal technologies ready by the early 2020s.

Toshiba’s goal: a hydrogen supply chain derived from renewable energy sources

Toshiba’s goal: a hydrogen supply chain derived from renewable energy sources

To Top

ViewpointEnsuring safety of hydrogen

Hydrogen burns strongly if it is ignited when it is at a level of 4%–75% in the air. But by applying safety measures particular to the nature of hydrogen, it is possible to handle it more safely than other flammable gases. As hydrogen is extremely light and diffusive, there are ways to prevent explosions; for example by installing vents and fans in the ceiling of the facilities handling hydrogen to maintain the hydrogen level at below 4%.

At Toshiba, we aim to promote awareness of our knowledge on hydrogen that we have built up over the years, and to develop hydrogen technology that can ensure safety in all possible circumstances.

To Top