Gov. Koike Announces Plans for ‘Hydrogen Exchange’ at COP 28; Looks to Boost Adoption of Energy Source

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike speaks at a press conference at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

DUBAI — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike delivered a speech unveiling plans to establish a “hydrogen exchange” facilitating the buying and selling of hydrogen at a session of the COP28 currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates on Friday. If realized, this initiative would mark the first of its kind within Japan.

Hydrogen is highly-anticipated as an energy source that does not emit carbon dioxide (CO2) during combustion. It is already being used as a fuel in some vehicles in Japan, with ongoing research into its applications in shipping and aviation.

Currently, intercompany transactions dominate the hydrogen market, requiring parties interested in buying or selling hydrogen to seek counterparts independently. The higher production costs compared to fossil fuels such as oil and coal have hindered widespread adoption.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government aims to establish a specialized hydrogen exchange akin to the stock market — acting as an intermediary between sellers indicating the lowest selling price and buyers indicating the highest buying price. The intention is to enhance transparency in transactions, increase trade volume, and promote widespread adoption. It is anticipated that the world’s first hydrogen exchange will be established in Germany next year, and Tokyo aims to leverage the expertise gained from Germany in pursuit of opening its own. Specific details, including the timeline for its establishment, remain undetermined.

Koike, in a post-speech interview with the press, emphasized the significance of the initiative, saying, “Trade in hydrogen has been progressing slowly until now. This initiative aims to unearth demand and supply, serving as a means to activate hydrogen utilization.”