Tuesday, 14. July 2015 - 9:54

OIST and UHM Agree on Sustainable Energy

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) signed an agreement to collaborate with the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) on sustainable energy research projects.

The agreement on scientific and academic cooperation also opens the door for future academic collaborations, such as hosting joint workshops and exchanging professors, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students.

OIST President Jonathan Dorfan and UHM Interim Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman signed the agreement at a ceremony at the Hawaii State Capitol on July 10 (July 11 Japan time). 

“This agreement will open up many opportunities for UHM and OIST to pursue research together,” Dorfan said. “I look forward to the rewards which this collaboration will bring.”  

OIST Professor Hiroaki Kitano, who runs the Integrated Open Systems Unit, has been working with the UHM’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute on the possible deployment of a new electric vehicle and on integrated open energy systems, including such a system for the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) on Coconut Island. Using direct current micro-grid system, the open energy systems enable smaller providers — a single home, neighborhood or town— to produce power that they then use, often from renewable sources like wind and solar.

“Hawaii and Okinawa face similar challenges to establish a reliable, renewable energy grid,” Kitano said. “We can find the best ways to achieve this together.”

The agreement is part of an ongoing collaboration between Japan and the United States to find sustainable energy solutions for islands, with Okinawa and Hawaii as the main representatives of the partnership. The two countries have been working together since 2010 under the agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and the former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on renewable energy, energy efficiency and next generation vehicles. On July 10, officials from the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the State of Hawaii, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the US Department of Energy extended the existing memorandum to keep collaborating through June 2020.

At the ceremony on July 10, officials from the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii extended the existing memorandum by another five years to continue collaborating on clean and efficient energy development and deployment projects through June 2020.

By Laura Petersen

For press inquiries, please contact media@oist.jp.

For press inquiries, please contact media@oist.jp.