Tokyo: Japan and the US will explore a
joint experimental project of a next-generation "smart grid"
power transmission network in Okinawa and Hawaii, the Japanese
Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said here.
Following the signing of a memorandum of cooperation the
same day, a project-finding mission consisting of government
officials and experts of both countries is expected to be sent
in July or later to the Japanese south-western prefecture of
Okinawa as well as to Hawaii.
Okinawa and Hawaii are common in that the islands largely
depend on fossil fuels, especially oil, and are eager to
introduce renewable energy sources such as solar and wind
power, according to a METI official. Their climate conditions
are also similar.
"We hope to create a clean energy model at remote islands
and promote it to the world," the official said on Thursday.
A smart grid, which uses information technology, is a
power transmission and distribution network that aims to
achieve stability of electricity supplied by fluctuating
The two countries have been discussing on how to
cooperate in the area of developing clean energy technologies
under a joint task force.
The task force was set up in line with an agreement
reached in November between then Japanese Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama and US President Barack Obama.
The signing ceremony was attended by Japanese Economy,
Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima, US Ambassador
to Japan John Roos, Okinawa Gov Hirokazu Nakaima and Hawaii
Gov Linda Lingle.