Yokohama, October 19. “At home” is where you meet people with objectives similar to your own. Under this aspect the participants of the 6th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety, no matter from which corner of the world they had arrived, felt very much at home today during the opening of the conference. Representatives of the city of Yokohama, the prefecture of Kanagawa and the Japanese government all said that correcting the mistakes of the past, guaranteeing the quality of life for the citizens of today and laying a safe foundation for the future of the planet are challenges that must be met, and that hydrogen and fuel cells are part of the tools necessary for doing so. In this context the conference was very welcome at the place where it was held.
Mobility based on hydrogen is part of the future. This was emphasized by the fact that the speakers of the plenary sessions are standing between two fuel cell cars, one by Honda and the other the Toyota Mirai. But mobility is only one element, and the safety of stationary and portable applications of hydrogen is topic of the conference as well.
Both HySafe president Andrei Tchouvelev and Prof. Ken-ichiro Ota, chair of the Organizing Committee, stressed that hydrogen energy is important locally and globally and that safety of the use is a key element for public acceptance. There is little discussion about this fact. So right after the opening speeches another plenary session followed in which the government safety programs of four important countries or regions (Japan, EU, South Africa, USA) were presented. While approaches differ a lot depending on the various boundary conditions of these players the message was the same all over and matched the priorities of HySafe, which were presented as well.
The day closed with a welcome reception hosted by the city of Yokohama. All signs appear to indicate that the conference participants will keep feeling “at home” here.