Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced its plan to demonstrate an "RE100 solution" that supplies 100% of the electricity consumed in business activities from renewable sources by using an in-house power generation system combining pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and photovoltaic generators. This is the world's first1 attempt to create an "RE100 factory" through the full-scale use of hydrogen.2
The idea that three perspectives of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) are essential for sustainable corporate growth is spreading around the world. Against this background, an increasing number of companies are joining the RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%) initiative3 to ensure that 100% of the electricity consumed in business activities is generated through renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydraulic power, and biomass.
There are two main methods of procuring renewable electricity, in-house power generation and external procurement. There are also various external procurement options, including direct contracts with business operators who own power-supply systems that use renewable energy and the use of energy attribute certificates. Companies will choose from these options to ensure a 100% ratio of power generated from renewable sources. However, there are different types of energy attribute certificates and their supply and price depend on market conditions. Furthermore, photovoltaic power generation systems, which have become widespread as a means of generating power in-house, have some obstacles as a means for companies to achieve RE100. They require a wide installation area to supply all the electricity required for business activities, and their power generation is unstable due to their susceptibility to weather.
As a means to resolve these issues, Panasonic proposes a solution that combines pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and storage batteries. To demonstrate this solution, Panasonic will build a large facility at its Kusatsu site in Shiga Prefecture, which is equipped with an in-house power generation system that combines pure hydrogen fuel cell generators (500 kW) and photovoltaic generators (approx. 570 kW), as well as lithium-ion storage batteries (approx. 1.1 MWh) for storing surplus power. The power generated with this system supplies the entire power used in manufacturing departments of the fuel cell factory located within the Kusatsu site. In parallel, Panasonic will develop and verify technologies related to the optimal power supply and demand management based on integrated control of the power generators and the storage battery system.
The above combination will help solve the problem with photovoltaic power generation, which requires a large installation area and is susceptible to weather conditions, resulting in unstable power generation. In addition, this will enable the construction of an in-house power generation system in a limited space, such as on the roof of a factory, to supply efficient and stable electricity for business activities. Furthermore, the combination of lithium storage batteries enables adequate energy management in response to power demand and effective use of surplus power generated during days when the factory is not in operation. Through this demonstration, Panasonic will accumulate know-how and establish a track record in energy management, including the operation of pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, and aim to commercialize the RE100 solution, which uses power generated in-house from renewable sources to supply 100% of the electricity required for business activities.
Panasonic will contribute to the decarbonization of society by proposing new options for expanding the adoption of renewable sources with the full-scale use of hydrogen.2