Looking to Replace Nuclear Energy
Many in Japan and around the world are ruing the day when the country starts up its dormant nuclear reactors that have been offline since just after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in March 2011. While many have great respect for the Japanese and their technological capabilities, the fact that the country lies in the midst of some of the worlds’ most active tectonic plates that will undoubtedly experience regular major earthquakes and tsunami events, means desire for an alternative is high.
Offshore Hydrogen Production, Renewable Economy
Although Japan is very beautiful, it has often been considered a country without significant natural resources. However, some in Japan are now looking to the windy ocean waters north of Japan that once produced “divine wind” to turn back two Mongol invasions under Kublai Khan. The vision is for Japan’s ample wind and ocean resources to provide a carbon neutral, clean energy future.
The project would create hydrogen production facilities using a combination of offshore floating wind turbines to power offshore platforms where ocean water would be purified and distributed to electrolyzers to convert it to hydrogen. As hydrogen is produced, it is offloaded to buoyed tanks that are transported to the mainland via ships for distribution to consumer and commercial markets.
Working with DNV GL in Oslo, Norway, a company that provides LNG tankers to Japan, engineers are currently working on improving efficiency and cutting costs related to floating offshore wind turbines in order to make the project viable.
The following is an overview of the project, which is being called “Jidai”: