Okinawa and Hawaii to sign new memorandum on co-developing clean energy

July 5, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

From July 9, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga will visit Hawaii. Onaga and Hawaii Governor David Ige will sign a memorandum on an ongoing Okinawa and Hawaii clean energy co-development project. Based on the past five-years’ development results, the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) and Hawaii State Government plan to devise an action plan aimed at co-developing clean energy for the coming five years. The plan includes making policies of stabilizing power supply and promoting oceanic energy. The signing ceremony concludes a treaty between Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and the University of Hawaii on scientific technology corporation. As well as exchanges between Okinawan and Hawaiian technology developers, the new treaty will promote exchanges between researchers in the both areas.

The Okinawa and Hawaii clean energy co-development project was originally initiated by the OPG, Hawaii State Government, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Department of Energy in 2010.

Based in Okinawa and Hawaii, the project was started with the purpose of co-developing and researching alternative energy and renewable energy. A research group part of the project has been studying smart grid, smarter construction, and renewable energy, and promoting people-to-people exchange.

Workshops were held alternately in Okinawa and Hawaii to promote exchanges between companies in Okinawa and Hawaii. These activities led to a demonstration project on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion in Kumejima, and another demonstration project on smart grids, utilizing Japanese technology in Maui.

On July 10, the 30th anniversary ceremony of a sister-state affiliation between Okinawa and Hawaii will be held. In time for the ceremony, the OPG and Hawaii State Government will sign the new memorandum. In the memorandum, both governments will state their plan for achieving their goals, such as setting a policy agenda and creating new research groups.

The OIST President Jonathan Dorfan will take part in the delegation from Okinawa. Dorfan will hold a ceremony to sign an academic exchange agreement between OIST and University of Hawaii at Manoa. Okinawa and Hawaii have a number of factors in common, such as the environment and weather condition unique to islands, and energy systems that rely on fossil fuels. The schools plan to agree on how to collaborate in academic fields through promoting co-research, and a credit transfer system between the schools.

(English translation by T&CT)

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