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Hawaiʻi Island gains clean hydrogen mentors

County of Hawaiʻi
A Hele-On bus that runs on hydrogen fuel cell batteries.

Japan and California will mentor Hawaiʻi County on the best strategies to replace oil and fossil fuels with hydrogen-based fuel cells.

It's part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s H2 Twin Cities Initiative. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions and strengthen ties across the Pacific.

Hydrogen fuel cells run on electricity and chemical energy. Unlike gasoline and diesel that release carbon dioxide, hydrogen fuel cells only emit water vapor and warm air.

Over the past decade, the City of Lancaster in California has invested more than $2 billion in cutting-edge renewable and clean energy projects.

Eiko Yoshida, the mayor of Namie City in Fukushima prefecture, said that after suffering great casualties from Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear tragedy 11 years ago, the city aims to maximize renewable energy usage and production of hydrogen at their FH2R facility.

Hawaiʻi county, Namie and Lancaster aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2035.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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