A hydrogen society: An interview with Panasonic, Part 1

Panasonic has been researching hydrogen energy technology for more than 20 years. In 2009, the company made household fuel cells – a product that uses hydrogen extracted from natural gas to make electricity and hot water in homes – commercially available in the Japanese market. Today this increasingly popular application is used in many homes and facilities.

This is just one of several initiatives Panasonic is working on to realise a hydrogen society in which hydrogen can be produced, stored and utilised easily in homes. To find out more about this vision, H2 View sat down with Junichi Suzuki, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Europe, and Max Fujita, Head of European Fuel Cells at Panasonic.

H2 View: Panasonic has been working with hydrogen technology since 1999 when it started research and development with support from the Japanese government. Can you start by giving us an overview of Panasonic’s history in hydrogen technology and talk about the journey the company has been on to where it is today?

Junichi Suzuki: Well, maybe I can start with taking a step even further back. For over 100 years, Panasonic has focused on a philosophy to contribute to society. We have always taken actions which lead to this, and obviously environmental issues, and particularly decarbonisation, are among the most important issues globally today. It is why Panasonic not only pursues this direction, but why decarbonisation forms the basis of our ‘Environmental Vision 2050’.

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