2020 Tokyo Olympics showcasing hydrogen’s potential to the world

2020 Tokyo Olympics showcasing hydrogen’s potential to the world

© International Olympic Committee

2020 Tokyo Olympics showcasing hydrogen’s potential to the world

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which started on July 23, is showcasing on a global scale how hydrogen can power highly intensive venues in addition to a wide range of applications.

To kickstart the Olympics, it was announced in March that more than 10,000 torchbearers, hand-selected from over half a million applications, will get to carry the torch in selected legs of a 121-day relay, which begun in Naraha, Fukushima on March 25.

Read more: Asahi Kasei technology installed in Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field

Read more: Tokyo Games: A global spotlight on hydrogen

Japan did not stop here with hydrogen however, in fact Panasonic developed the Harumi Flag, a hydrogen-powered city complex that is designated. To serve as the Olympic athlete village.

This remarkable 18-hectares site comprises of 5,632 privately-owned/rental flats in 234 different buildings within the complex.

Hydrogen is providing heat, hot water and light to the Olympic village facilities for all 11,000 of its athletes ensuring that not only are the sportspersons well acquainted in the village but are powered by zero-emission technology.

This has been provided by the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R) that has the ability to produce as much as 1,200Nm3 of hydrogen per hour using renewable energy.

In addition to this, hydrogen mobility is also on show at the Tokyo Olympics with Toyota providing around 3,700 mobility and/or vehicles.

Part of this fleet is 100 Sora hydrogen fuel cell buses that will shuttle both spectators and athletes around the games.

As well as this, Toyota is additionally supplying 500 of its hydrogen-powered Mirai vehicles which uses a Toyota fuel cell system, featuring both fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, as well as Toyota’s proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

To help refuel these vehicles, TMG provided the necessary infrastructure including 36 hydrogen fuelling stations as part of a collective Japanese initiative to get to 80 stations and 100,000 fuel cell cars on the capital’s roads.

How the Tokyo Olympics has kickstarted the transition to a hydrogen-powered society in Japan

“The 1964 Tokyo Olympics left the Shinkansen high-speed train system as its legacy. The upcoming Olympics will leave a hydrogen society as its legacy.” That’s what then Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe declared in 2016, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has been working to make this dream come to fruition ever since.

At the time of writing, we are just weeks away from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Scheduled to originally take place in 2020 but postponed due to Covid-19, the Games will take place from July 23 – August 8. It will be the first time that hydrogen will take centre stage at a major sporting event of such magnitude, throwing a spotlight on hydrogen to an audience of billions around the world.