Shigeru Muraki to give Keynote Address at the NH3 Energy Implementation Conference

The NH3 Fuel Association has announced that Shigeru Muraki, Director of Japan’s SIP Energy Carriers Program and Chairman of the Green Ammonia Consortium, will give the keynote address at the NH3 Energy Implementation Conference.  The Conference will take place on November 1, in Pittsburgh, PA. Other details were released at the same time.

Muraki leads the Energy Carriers Program within Japan’s Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) while serving as Executive Advisor to Tokyo Gas Company. He has been employed by Tokyo Gas since receiving an Engineering in Applied Chemistry degree from Tokyo University in 1972.  Over the course of his career at Tokyo Gas, he has served as Executive Officer and General Manager of the Gas Resources Department; Senior Executive Officer and Chief Executive of the R&D Division; Executive Vice President and Chief Executive of the Energy Solution Division; and Vice Chairman of the company.

Japan’s SIP Energy Carriers Program

SIP is one of three “arrows” within Japan’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, according to a background document.  The latter body, “under the leadership of the Prime Minister of Japan and the Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy,” promotes “planning and coordination for comprehensive basic science, technology and innovation.”  It specifically “takes the lead in allocating budgets that cross the traditional framework of government ministries and disciplines.”  Governmental expenditures on science, technology, and innovation promotion in fiscal 2015 were budgeted at ¥50 billion (USD$455 million).

SIP promotes “end-to-end research and development, from basic research to practical application and commercialization.”  It is focused on issues “from the field of energy, next-generation infrastructure and regional resources” with the goal of “addressing social issues, [revitalizing] the Japanese economy, and [bolstering] Japan’s industrial posture in the world.”  It is made up of ten distinct programs, including, in addition to Energy Carriers, such entries as Innovative Combustion Technology, Automated Driving Systems, and Next-Generation Power Electronics.

The charter of the Energy Carriers Program is to “create a clean, economically secure society through electricity and hydrogen produced via renewable energy sources[;] … forecast future technological innovations and energy costs that lead to a hydrogen-based, new-energy society[; and] develop technologies to create a hydrogen value chain.”  The three energy carriers that make up its scope are liquid hydrogen, liquid organic hydrides, and ammonia.  The Program’s budget in fiscal 2015 was ¥3.04 billion (USD$28 million).

The Energy Carriers Program was instrumental in the formation of Japan’s Green Ammonia Consortium in July 2017.  As described in an Ammonia Energy post, the Consortium’s mission is to develop a strategy for “forming [an] ammonia value chain,” promote demonstration projects that can further commercialization, and enable “Japanese industry to lead the world market.”  Initial Consortium membership included 19 corporations and three research institutes, with Muraki as Chairman.  Over the last year the Consortium has been preparing to take over responsibility for the ammonia strand as the Energy Carriers Program reaches the end of its charter in March 2019.

In his address, Muraki will discuss the planned direction of ammonia energy implementation in Japan.

NH3 Energy Implementation Conference details

As reported in a previous Ammonia Energy post, the NH3 Energy Implementation Conference will be held in Pittsburgh on November 1, immediately following the NH3 Energy+ Topical Conference on October 31. Together, the two events form the 15th annual NH3 Fuel Conference. The Implementation Conference will be held at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel, a short distance from the Topical Conference venue.  The Conference will kick off at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 5:00 p.m.

The premise of the Implementation Conference is that economic implementation of ammonia energy, defined as the process of taking technologies from the lab and scaling them into full-blown energy infrastructure, is poised for an intense period of activity in the 2020s. The goal of the Conference is to identify and describe the most active frontiers of implementation, in terms of both use-cases and geographies.

The Conference will employ a “workshop” format, meaning that group interactivity will be emphasized over individual presentations.  Plans call for examination of distinct “implementation arenas” over the course of six breakout sessions and subsequent plenary discussions.  One session, for example, will focus on ammonia as an energy commodity that can play a critical role in balancing future electricity systems dominated by renewable generation.  Mark Ruth, Principal Project Lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center in the U.S., will be the featured panelist for this session.  Another session will focus on the role ammonia can play in fueling the installed base of PEM fuel cells in mobile and stationary applications.  Michael Dolan, Principal Research Scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, will be the featured panelist for this session.  (CSIRO’s recent ammonia-to-hydrogen demonstration was the subject of an Ammonia Energy post last week.) Still other sessions will focus on ammonia as a maritime fuel; ammonia as an internationally traded green energy commodity; and production of ammonia in smaller scale plants aligned with renewable energy resources and/or regional markets.

At the end of the day, it is expected that participants will have an enhanced sense of the multi-faceted and imminent nature of ammonia energy implementation.

With interactivity a key goal of the Conference, the number of participants will be limited and attendance will be by invitation only. To request an invitation, please contact Stephen Crolius.

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