As the City of Yokohama is quite eager in progressing the hydrogen development the Chief Representative went on a hydrogen mission to the Netherlands at the beginning of October, that was initiated by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan.
The one-week program of this mission started with a hydrogen symposium in Groningen, that was held by the City of Groningen, where about 80 representatives of Japanese companies related to the energy and technology fields, as well as of local companies, research institutes and universities attended.
There Mr. Tamai took the opportunity to introduce the audience to Yokohama’s efforts regarding the development and efficient integration of hydrogen technology into every-day life. When the question arose, what kind of energy education the City of Yokohama offers to the citizens, Mr. Tamai explained, that first of all, the topic of sustainable energy is implemented in the middle-school and high-school curriculum. On top of that, the citizens are also regularly approached directly to raise awareness of sustainable energy and sustainable energy consumption.
To exemplify the development of hydrogen technologies in the Netherlands, the program included not only expert presentations but also on-site visits to some of the spots where hydrogen technology was already successfully introduced into the city’s infrastructure and visits to other related destinations.
In Groningen, the public bus service is supported by hydrogen buses and the attendants could take a bus ride on one of these buses. Furthermore, a multifunctional gas station, called ‘Green Pot’ could be inspected. Here vehicles soon can be filled up not only with one or two types of gasoline but also with bioethanol mixed fuels, hydrogen, LP gas or can be charged with electricity.
In this course, Mr. Tamai also had the chance to visit the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in The Hague to discuss the political approach to fostering and implementing sustainable technology in the country. While the government does provide guidelines to follow, it does not force companies to implement sustainable technology into their businesses, but rather tries to encourage them to do so with subsidies and incentives.
From The Hague, the mission went on to Rotterdam to the Innovation Expo with the topic ‘Global Challenges and Dutch Solutions’. This Expo shows every type of the latest renewable energy-related technology, from natural gas to solar power, including swimming buses, drones, and flying cars. A special benefit for visitors is the possibility to find interesting conversational partners and apply for a meeting to match interested parties to form new cooperations.
In the future, Yokohama wants to learn even more from European best practice examples and foster the international knowledge exchange. Further information on Yokohama’s environment policy you can find here.