In this blog series, we invite EEHH’s partner and member companies to share their visions, current renewable energy activities and projects in Japan. For Hamburg, Japan is considered a forerunner in renewable energy and an important partner for its internationalization strategy. Since 2018, EEHH and EAF have been working closely together to foster business cooperation in the energy transition. The bilateral relationship was enforced by another partnership between the city of Hamburg and the prefecture Fukushima that was renewed in 2023.
EAF coordinates the network of Fukushima Renewable Energy Research Association, which consists of more than 800 members. The aim of EAF’s activities is to support the build-out of renewable energy and provide a platform of exchange for the local energy industry. The interview with Mr. Hattori kickstarts the blog series focusing on our cooperation with Japan.
How long have you been working in the field of renewable energy? Why do you think international cooperations is important for Fukushima and Japan?
I have been working in the field of renewable energy since 2012. That year, Fukushima Prefecture established the Fukushima Renewable Energy Research Association and I was assigned as its head. As renewable energy is a relatively new technology, its adoption varies greatly from country to country, so, I think we need to know best practices from around the world to level up Fukushima Prefecture's initiatives.
How much has energy policy changed in the Fukushima region for the past decade?
Initially, our goal was to increase the introduction of renewable energy beyond the local energy consumption by around 2040 and expand related industries. Currently, in addition to the above, the goal of realizing a decarbonized society by 2050 has been added, and our activities have become more extensive. For example, new targets have been set to “realize a hydrogen society.” Now we are aiming to become Japan's front runner in renewable energy and hydrogen.
What are the energy plans of the Fukushima region for the future?
Personally, I think it would be great if Fukushima, which experienced the nuclear power plant accident, could be shown to the world as a model for how to build a renewable energy society and a hydrogen society. It is important to change the idea of Fukushima from being linked to disaster, to being linked to renewable energy and hydrogen.
What are the plans of energy agency Fukushima for 2024? What trips and exhibitions are you planning to attend and what are your goals?
We would especially like to strengthen Fukushima Prefecture's position as Japan's front runner in hydrogen. Regarding exhibitions overseas, we will exhibit at E-world 2024 with 3 companies that are active in areas such as heat and UV blocking glass, valves and high-tech energy management systems using AI. We would like to invite anyone attending E-world 2024 to visit our booth and speak with our companies or with members of EAF who will be attending who can share information about our hydrogen and wind projects here in Fukushima.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
A few years ago, a company from Hamburg reached out to Fukushima Prefecture and gave support to some of our companies. Thanks to their support, and the support of Renewable Energy Hamburg, our companies were able to grow significantly in the field of onshore wind O&M.
Our wind companies are interested in having contact with, and discussing business with Hamburg companies in the field of offshore wind O&M.