Plug Power Leverages Entrance into New Green Hydrogen Market: Electrolyzers Now Deployed in Japan

August 31, 2020


Hydrogen’s popularity as a renewable energy source has only grown in recent years, but perhaps no nation has worked to implement this renewable so much as Japan.  The government is working to reduce the production cost of hydrogen significantly over the course of the next several decades, aiming for $3 a kilogram by 2030 and $2 a kilogram by 2050. The shift will not only help the country reduce its carbon footprint and gain energy independence, but it will also enable the country to become a leading exporter of fuel cell technology.  

In fact, so confident is Japan in this investment that it had planned to showcase it during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, now taking place in 2021. The Olympic torch is said to be lit by hydrogen as it made its way through Japan, and the Olympic Cauldron included in the opening and closing ceremonies was likewise to be powered by hydrogen. On a more practical level, 500 hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles intend to be  used in transportation efforts for the games. Japan’s plans to foreground its hydrogen strategy as a point of national pride during the Olympics indicates the full extent of its commitment to this clean renewable energy.  

Plug Power shares this commitment and is delighted to announce its entry into the Japanese green hydrogen market. A mere two months after its acquisition of Giner ELX – a leading company that makes the electrolyzer devices that split water into hydrogen and oxygen – Plug Power has delivered a 25kW GenFuel electrolyzer to Nagasaki, Japan. This achievement represents the first fruits of Plug Power’s vertical acquisition strategy in Asia and promotes the development of a scalable, renewable hydrogen economy. 

Prior to its acquisition of Giner ELX, Plug Power was known as the leading provider of hydrogen engines and fueling solutions. After acquiring the company, however, Plug Power is now in a position to produce both the hydrogen engines and green hydrogen on-site to power those engines. Being able to pivot so quickly from acquisition to international deployment testifies to the nimbleness, skill and leadership of Plug Power’s global operations.

This deployment also opens the door to further investment in Japan. In its 2017 outline of the Basic Hydrogen Strategy, the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry noted that “it is necessary to develop innovative technologies for highly efficient water electrolysis for hydrogen production, as well as…highly reliable, low-cost fuel cells.” Japan’s interest in further developing hydrogen production solutions indicates its potential as a robust market for the kind of hydrogen solutions Plug Power can provide.

Additionally, Plug Power celebrates this deployment as yet another step towards achieving the goals laid out in its 2024 plan. The company has announced a plan to deliver $1.2 billion in annual revenue by 2024 and use more than 50% green hydrogen by 2024. Thanks to the success of this plan already, Plug Power has increased that $1 billion goal to $1.2 billion. This nascent expansion into the Japanese market paves the way for the company to meet that goal, as it works to scale up deployment and help fulfill the needs of a nation eager to invest in renewable energy.

Between this acquisition and deployment, it has been exciting past few months for Plug Power. There’s no denying the ambition of the five-year plan – but every single step taken in recent weeks has demonstrated the company’s ability to fulfill those ambitions. The world’s hunger for sustainable energy solutions continues to grow, and Plug Power is uniquely positioned to meet those needs. 

To hear more about the company’s vision for the clean hydrogen economy and the micro- and macro-level trends driving increased adoption, register for the 2020 Virtual Plug Symposium taking place on September 24th, 2020. Plug Power experts and our thought-leading guests will offer insights into what a hydrogen-powered world will look like and why we’re so excited about the journey to get there.