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Hydrogen Powering the Olympic Village – Heat, Electric, and Lights – is a Model of Japanese Infrastructure

Japan National Stadium /Arne-Müseler

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics made a mark on the world in the form of the Shinkansen high-speed train, a feat that repeating hosts this year seek to match with a glimpse into the future of civic planning.

Although it endured some criticism for going ahead with the games during COVID-19, Tokyo has presented the world with the world’s first hydrogen-powered Olympics, with a full fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, a couple of powered stadiums. For hydrogen, a hotel. and Olympic Village.

Some envision hydrogen power, not to be confused with hydropower, as the obvious renewable energy of the future. As the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen fuel cells do not produce emissions of any kind, except for water, which can be used to irrigate agriculture or gardens.

Like most renewable technologies, hydrogen energy has had its fair share of growth problems, but with the help of the Tokyo Research Center for a Hydrogen Energy-Based Society (ReHES), established by the government of the city in the run-up to the games, these problems can be overcome.

“With its immense scope and visibility, the Olympic Games are a great opportunity to demonstrate technologies that can help address today’s challenges, such as climate change.” He says Marie Sallois, Director of Sustainability of the International Olympic Committee.

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“The hydrogen exhibition at Tokyo 2020 is just one example of how these Games will contribute to this goal.”

Starting in 2017, Japan became the first nation-state to adopt a national hydrogen strategy and increased its hydrogen energy R&D to around $ 300 million to fund 2018 and 2019. As part of this push, they built one of the largest hydrogen fuel plants in the country. world in Namie Town in Fukushima.

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There, 10,000 kilowatts of clean energy produce 900 metric tons of hydrogen per year – helping power a fleet of 500 hydrogen cars, 100 hydrogen buses, and even hydrogen forklifts. 35 service stations have been built around the city.

At the intersection between Tokyo Bay and the heritage zones, the International Olympic Village is the first large-scale hydrogen infrastructure in Tokyo.

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There, hydrogen fuel cells turn on the lights, heating and hot water in dormitories and cafeterias that temporarily house 11,000 athletes.

Once the games are over, the village will be turned into hydrogen-powered flats, a school, a shopping mall, and more.

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