We spend 60 seconds with Mr. Shingo Ueno, Senior Managing Executive Officer, General Manager, Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics Business Unit at Sumitomo Corporation

 

What specific activities related to hydrogen is your company currently pursuing?

Post COP21, the environment surrounding the energy sector is changing in very dramatic ways, where we see hydrogen playing a key role in the global energy transition to prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, prior to COP21, internally we had already established a cross-functional group, the ‘Hydrogen Value Chain Committee’, in July 2015 to enhance our network in the hydrogen community and centralize our hydrogen business opportunities. Since then, we have intensified our initiatives on climate change and the role of hydrogen by upgrading our ‘Hydrogen Value Chain Committee’ to the ‘Hydrogen Working Group’ in May 2018 for more effective engagement. This Working Group is currently making efforts to materialize various opportunities within the hydrogen supply chain (e.g. Production, Transportation/Storage, and Utilization), along with the cooperation and strategic alliances with companies that share our views on hydrogen.

Have you noticed any trends in the way hydrogen energy is being used in the regions where you operate? Where do you see potential for greater hydrogen use and integration into existing systems?

Firstly, we have identified strategic regions for hydrogen business development.

We see regions driving hydrogen as a source of renewable energy moving toward an off-grid (localized production and consumption) type of supply chain, while other regions like Japan are working to create a massive global-scale hydrogen supply system produced overseas. Therefore, we see regional differences in the means of establishing hydrogen supply. Sumitomo, as a global organization operating multiple businesses across a vast range of industries in 81 countries and regions, aims to add more value to hydrogen energy by creating a custom fit business model for each region, and always staying one step ahead, creating new value, and contributing broadly to society.

Why did you make the decision to join the Hydrogen Council? What value do you see in this initiative and your role as a member?

We joined the Hydrogen Council because we believe climate change requires a joint effort involving international cooperation with governments and the private sector. Global collaboration will also be crucial to overcome current challenges, such as scaling up, cost reduction, and regulatory support in the hydrogen domain. Such collaboration, and facilitation of efforts to meet these challenges, we believe, is a key function of the Hydrogen Council. Making use of our extensive expertise, we would like to contribute to the Hydrogen Council and work with other council members to accelerate the arrival of the hydrogen-based society that awaits us.