KONNICHI WA

After the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in 2011, the region faced an energy reckoning. Officials in the region decided to bet big on clean energy, vowing to power the prefecture with 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and developing clean energy as an export product. 

For the country as a whole, clean energy may soon be an important part of its trade with the United States. But with President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, the United States may not be as interested in buying Japanese clean tech. 

 A wind and solar power test site at the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute in Japan

A wind and solar power test site at the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute in Japan

 

 

Splitting Water

Many engineers will tell you that hydrogen isn't a fuel so much as an energy carrier. That is, hydrogen is usually produced with a process that requires an energy input of some sort. Reducing the energy needed to make hydrogen would cut its costs and improve its net energy balance. 

Most of the world's hydrogen gas is produced from fossil fuels, like methane. Scientists recently developed a catalyst that can better produce hydrogen from water. The new material requires less energy, making water a more viable option for producing hydrogen.