Japan Plans to Boost Budget for Hydrogen, Energy-Saving Measures

Aug 29, 2014 2:30 am ET

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry wants to increase the budget to boost the use of fuel cells and install more energy-saving devices.

The ministry is requesting 206.4 billion yen ($2 billion) for energy saving for the year starting April, an increase of 32 percent from the previous fiscal year, according to a ministry document. Part of the allocation will help factories and offices install equipment consuming less electricity.

The trade ministry is pushing to more than double the budget for hydrogen-related projects to 40.1 billion yen from 16.5 billion yen. The ministry wants to use the money to set up hydrogen stations as Japan prepares to begin sales of fuel cell cars by March, according to the document. The budget will also be used to subsidize installations of home fuel cells that produce electricity and hot water.

For clean energy development, the ministry is asking for 158.6 billion yen, up from 136.4 billion yen. The funds will be used for offshore wind and geothermal research.