Categorized | Education

Joint U.S. – China delegation to visit UH-Hilo


The University of Hawaii at Hilo will host a visit from a joint U.S.- China delegation of leading scientists and technical experts on renewable energy from the National Academies of Science and Engineering in both countries.  The work of this Committee on U.S. – China Cooperation on Electricity from Renewables will assist the national governments, their relevant agencies/ministries, and private industries in assigning priorities for substantial and meaningful cooperation in developing and utilizing electricity from renewable energy.

The group is coming to UH-Hilo to learn more about how the Big Island’s renewable energy strategies, initiatives and research can strengthen the economic foundation of the community.  

Dr. Michael Crosby, interim vice chancellor for research at UH-Hilo, will open a meeting of  the delegation and roundtable discussion at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18 in UCB 127.  Participants will include UH Hilo’s leading renewable energy researchers, representatives of Mayor Billy Kenoi, Hawaii Electric Light Company, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association and local agriculture businesses.

“We’re very excited to be hosting this event,” Crosby said. “Our gateway location where east meets west, combined with the Big Island’s advances in renewable energy provides UH Hilo a great opportunity to create another global niche for itself in the area of scientific research.”    

The U.S. and China rank as the world’s top two energy consumers, but remain largely reliant on fossil fuels.  

Although both countries have enjoyed recent surges in the growth of wind, solar and biomass energy, power generation from these renewable sources has yet to meet even 10 percent of electricity demand in either country.  Given the size of their electricity markets, any substantial progress between the two countries will have an immediate benefit on the global   community.

The committee’s study will pursue three separate, but related goals of comparatively assessing resource potential in China and the U.S. for grid-scale electricity generation, exploring near term market opportunities for mature technologies, and recommending priorities for enhanced collaboration, with a focus on cost reduction, improved efficiency and grid connectivity, and storage.  

In its first collaborative effort entitled Cooperation in the Energy Futures of China and the United States, the U.S. and Chinese academies identified several  future initiatives for meeting their energy-related challenges that include promoting investments in frontier technology; developing collaborative programs to accelerate deployment of advanced technologies; and ongoing collaboration between key scientific and engineering institutions in the two countries to help guide choices required to implement energy strategies.    

The delegation will be in Hawaii through March 21, with visits scheduled in Honolulu, Hilo and Waikoloa.  In addition to UH Hilo, the committee members will visit the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority to learn more about ocean thermal energy research, bio-diesel, micro-CSP projects, deep sea cooling and other distributed technologies.  

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