October 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of ICLEI Japan. A special roundtable was held on 18 May to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ICLEI Japan and the 2023 Annual General Meeting of Members was held on the same day in Hybrid.
Under the theme ‘G7 related ministerial meetings and the role of cities: challenges and future prospects’, the officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) ,and the Ministry of the Environment (MOEJ) spoke about the challenges and future prospects regarding the role of cities from the perspective of the G7 countries.
The 2023 Annual General Meeting of Members was attended by 19 member municipalities, each member city introduced its initiatives. Following, all proposals were approved, including the 2022 business report and financial statement report, and the 2023 business plan, income ,and expenditure budget, as presented by ICLEI Japan Chairman Takemoto, and Executive Director, Mr. Uchida.
30th anniversary event Tour- An on-site hydrogen refueling station
On 19 May 2023, ICLEI Japan celebrated its 30th anniversary and organised a tour of an on-site hydrogen refueling station, with the cooperation of Saitama City and Tokyo Gas Group.
A total of six people from Itabashi Ward, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and ICLEI Japan participated.
On the theme of ‘Hydrogen’, one of the main themes of the UNFCCC-COP28, the participants were given a tour of the Urawa On-site Hydrogen Refueling Station, where city gas is reformed at an on-site hydrogen station to generate hydrogen, and a presentation on the Tokyo Gas Group’s decarbonisation initiatives.
First, the participants were first briefed on the Tokyo Gas Group’s decarbonisation initiatives, and then were able to see the compressors, storage, -40℃ pre-cooler and hydrogen shipping facility are the main components of the hydrogen production equipment, and were given an easy-to-understand explanation of each piece of equipment. At the Urawa hydrogen refueling station, hydogen is generated and stored at the station and also used to fill FCVs, as well as shipped to neighboring off-site station such as Nerima hydrogen refueling station.
On-site hydrogen reforming eliminates the need to transport hydrogen externally, and city gas pipelines network can continue to supply it in the event of an earthquake, thus ensures a stable energy supply. The paticipants also held a hydrogen dispenser that supplies hydrogen to fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), and found that it was heavier than they had imagined.
Currently, there are approximately 163 hydrogen stations in operation nationwide, but they are still not as widespread as electric vehicles and charging spots. There are also many challenges in terms of price、 such as the spread of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). However, hydrogen energy (green hydrogen), which is produced by electrolysing water with electricity derived from renewable energy sources, is expected to be a solution to global environmental problems, oil depletion and air pollution issues in the future.
This tour of the Urawa hydrogen fuelling station, with the cooperation of Saitama City and the Tokyo Gas Group, gave the participants a behind-the-scenes look at the station that they would not normally be able to see. The tour was also very meaningful as the participants were able to deepen their understanding of hydrogen by test-riding FCVs, the official vehicles of Saitama City, and experiencing the smooth ride that differs from the internal-combustion engine vehicles.