The goals of the Energy Analysis Division (EAD) are to ensure that I2CNER research is relevant to the future carbon-neutral energy infrastructure for Japan, ensure that I2CNER research is informed of all relevant current and future energy options, and to help enable an I2CNER Vision and Roadmap for a low carbon energy infrastructure for Japan.
All analyses include cost, energy use, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Analyses are done on a Well-to-Wheel (WTW)/Cradle-to-Grave (CTG) basis, where all activities, costs, and energy flows are tracked throughout the energy pathway from the source of the primary energy (e.g. a natural gas well) through the final use of that energy (e.g. as electricity from a gas turbine for use in the residential market or hydrogen from natural gas used in a fuel cell vehicle).
● RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The EAD began its efforts by understanding the current energy picture in Japan and its future needs. It analyzes the current energy pathways used and the future potential used and the future potential energy pathways that reduce carbon emissions including those that could utilize the I2CNER research efforts. It will compare the I2CNER technology linear WTW/CTG energy pathways to both current and other future potential energy pathways to ensure that the I2CNER research is relevant from a cost, energy use, and low GHG gas emissions basis. In time the EAD will employ the use of energy macro-system models to analyze how I2CNER technologies can penetrate the Japanese energy infrastructure. Through the use of both linear WTW/CTG energy pathway and energy macro-system modeling, the EAD will enable I2CNER to develop a Vision and Roadmap for a low carbon energy infrastructure for Japan.
Research in the EAD began late in FY2011. To date its efforts have focused on establishing a plan and scope, as well as beginning to hire resources for the effort. The accomplishments achieved so far include crafting a Draft Plan for the I2CNER Energy Analysis Division; identifying several sources of data on the current energy situation in Japan and initially compiled; defining the list of all energy pathways that will be examined; and identified U.S. studies of several important hydrogen production and hydrogen delivery pathways. The latter includes an initial analysis of the potential cost for the production of hydrogen utilizing sunlight to split water that is a key pathway being researched by I2CNER.
● FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The near term tasks for the I2CNER EAD effort include: complete the staffing for the EAD; gather the data required to quantify the cost, energy use, and GHG emissions for the current energy pathways in use in Japan; and begin to analyze and model the potential energy pathways that could utilize the I2CNER research efforts.