Japanese Ene-Farm Production Ramping up as Customer Demand Grows

17 Jan 2012

Ene-Farm Generic Logo

Japan’s Ene-Farm scheme – the joint home use fuel cell marketing brand of several major gas companies and fuel cell manufacturers – has seen consistent success since its launch in 2005, particularly after a government subsidy scheme was introduced.

Organic growth is to be expected, particularly in a society that embraces new technology with enthusiasm as Japan does, but recent surges in demand for home-scale combined heat and power (CHP) comes after nationwide power shortages affected large parts of the country during and after the Great East Japan Earthquake last March. The ongoing problems caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that resulted from the earthquake are driving the country towards alternative energy sources. Japanese customers are becoming increasingly attracted to the idea of clean electricity and hot water provision independent from the grid.

In October Fuel Cell Today reported that the latest round of government subsidies intended to last until the end of this month would be depleted by the end of November. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. had seen fuel cells selling 40% faster after the government subsidies were reintroduced last year and now the Nikkei reports that three of Japan’s major gas companies are targeting a combined 56% increase in sales from 9,250 units sold in the 2011 financial year to 14,400 units in the 2012 financial year.

  • Tokyo Gas plans to sell 7,100 units in FY2012, a 42% increase from its 5,000 unit FY2011 target.
  • Toho Gas plans to sell 1,300 units in FY2012, double the units in FY2011.
  • Osaka Gas plans to sell 6,000 units, also double the units in FY2011. It will also be releasing a lower cost, higher efficiency unit co-developed with Toshiba and an SOFC variant co-developed with Kyocera.
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