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Hydrogen’s Role in Decarbonization – James Kast

A deep dive into Iwatani’s vision for hydrogen in the energy transition

Podcast Summary

Hydrogen continues to be a promising player in the energy transition. Our latest Energy Superhero is hydrogen-champion James Kast, Director of Hydrogen Business Development at Iwatani. Founded over 100 years ago in Japan, Iwatani has an extensive background in the industrial gas industry. They are at the forefront of the hydrogen economy, laying foundational work in developing fuel cell stacks for vehicles.

In this episode, James sheds light on his company’s hydrogen production work and their venture into the U.S. market:

  • Iwatani’s vision is clear – they see hydrogen fuels as a pivotal tool for decarbonization, particularly in mobility. The company is committed to promoting the vast potential hydrogen offers to revamp the energy sector.
  • The roots of many decarbonization technologies, particularly fuel cell stack development for vehicles, can be traced back to Japan. With automotive giants like Toyota and Honda spearheading fuel cell technology for almost three decades, it’s propelled momentum globally. 
  • Future prospects for hydrogen vehicles are promising. Beyond early adopters, there’s a growing market of customers drawn by vehicle aesthetics or attractive deals, in addition to climate benefits. California is already home to hydrogen refueling stations, signaling the rising demand for hydrogen vehicles in the States.
  • Transitioning to a hydrogen economy isn’t without its roadblocks. Scaling up production, ramping up R&D investments, and establishing robust infrastructure are just some of the challenges. James emphasizes the important role of collaboration, insisting that a concerted effort from various sectors is essential to realize the hydrogen economy’s full potential.

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