A Region‐Specific Environmental Analysis of Technology Implementation of Hydrogen Energy in Japan Based on Life Cycle Assessment

17 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Teruyuki Shimizu

Teruyuki Shimizu

University of Tokyo

Kei Hasegawa

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Manabu Ihara

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Yasunori Kikuchi

University of Tokyo - Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST)

Date Written: February 2020

Abstract

Energy systems using renewables with adequate energy carriers are needed for sustainability. Before accelerating technology implementation for the transition to the new energy system, region‐specific implementation effects should be carefully examined as a system. In this study, we aim to analyze an energy system using hydrogen as an energy carrier with the approach of combining life cycle assessment and a regional energy simulation model. The model calculates the emissions, such as CO, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and volatile organic compounds, and their impacts on human health, social assets, primary production, and an integrated index. The analysis quantitatively presented various environmental impacts by region, life cycle stage, and impact category. Climate change was dominant on the integrated index while the other impact categories were also important. Fuel cell vehicles were effective in mitigating local air pollution, especially in high‐population regions where many people are adversely affected. Although technology implementation contributes to mitigating environmental impacts at locations of energy users, it also has possibilities to have negative impacts at locations of device manufacturing and raw material processing. The definition of the regional division was also an important factor in energy system design because the final results of life cycle assessments are highly sensitive to region‐specific characteristics. The proposed region‐specific analysis is expected to support local governments and technology developers in designing appropriate energy systems for regions and building marketing plans for specific targets.

Keywords: fuel cell vehicle, hydrogen energy system, industrial ecology, life cycle impact assessment method based on endpoint modeling (LIME), region‐specific characteristics, urban employment area

Suggested Citation

Shimizu, Teruyuki and Hasegawa, Kei and Ihara, Manabu and Kikuchi, Yasunori, A Region‐Specific Environmental Analysis of Technology Implementation of Hydrogen Energy in Japan Based on Life Cycle Assessment (February 2020). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 24, Issue 1, pp. 217-233, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3608874 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12973

Teruyuki Shimizu (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo

Yayoi 1-1-1
Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo, 113-8657
Japan

Kei Hasegawa

Tokyo Institute of Technology

2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 152-8550, 52-8552
Japan

Manabu Ihara

Tokyo Institute of Technology

2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 152-8550, 52-8552
Japan

Yasunori Kikuchi

University of Tokyo - Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) ( email )

4-6-1 Komaba Megro-ku
Tokyo, 153-8904
Japan

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