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Analysis: Methane Hydrate Innovation May Alter Power Geopolitics

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(Oxford Analytica) — Japan’s Mitsui Holdings is making progress in its efforts to commercialize extraction of methane hydrates from below the seabed, which could unlock a vast source of potential hydrogen production. If successful, it could provide a fillip for Japan’s drive to decarbonize its economy and for Japanese auto manufacturers’ efforts to develop an alternative to battery-powered electric vehicles. Given the extent of methane hydrate deposits globally, success in Japan could have implications far and wide.

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Tokyo places a high priority on boosting its energy independence. If extraction can be made safe and cost-effective, methane hydrate could provide Japan with a strong hydrogen element to its energy transition, with implications for electricity generation and automotive manufacturing. India, which like Japan is today highly reliant on fossil fuels to generate electricity, could be an early beneficiary of proven…

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