Companies from Japan are showcasing at COP26 cool clean energy technologies that could provide potential solutions for the world’s efforts to cut carbon emissions to zero. The companies are also trying to expand business opportunities by pitching their technologies to the conference participants coming from various countries around the world.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. is one of the Japanese engineering companies that taps into carbon capture and storage technology. It is designed to collect CO2 from exhaust gas generated by thermal power plants and other factories and stores that CO2 deep underground.
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Sumitomo Forestry Co. is another company presenting its technology at COP26. The company and its partner IHI Corp. have jointly developed a system using space satellites to monitor areas of land that are prone to generate greenhouse gases.
The two companies are presenting the world’s first system to better conserve forests by monitoring soil moisture and vegetation from space. It is currently in operation on 125,000 hectares of land in Indonesia and the goal is to expand the technology to other areas and countries globally.
Panasonic Corp. is presenting its fuel-cell system that combines solar energy and hydrogen to power factories and commercial buildings. The system aims to generate up to 10,000 kilowatts or more of electricity without emitting greenhouse gases.
The company is building a pilot hydrogen plant combined with photovoltaics and storage at its fuel cell factory in Kusatsu, in central Japan that is supposed to come online in 2022. It is intended to be used at a large scale and in locations like large semiconductor factories and storage battery plants.
“There has been strong interest [in the system] mainly from oil-producing countries that are trying to shift their industry focus,” said Shoji Kusumoto, director of Panasonic’s Environmental Management Department regarding the decarbonization technology.
Hitachi, Ltd is showing its in-wheel motor system that combines motor, inverter, and brake into one unit which represents a lightweight design. The motor is built into the wheel of an electric vehicle and powers it directly. As a result, the vehicle has better energy efficiency than conventional EVs that use axles to transmit power to the wheels, increasing the range on a single charge by about 50%.
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If clean energy technologies from Japan manage to expand overseas, they could facilitate the world’s efforts to decarbonize the current economies. Right now strong investments are needed into the net zero economy to achieve the Paris Agreement targets of up to 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.