Hawai’i County to enter Pacific Hydrogen Alliance with cities in Japan, California

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Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth is in California this week to officially sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Namie, Japan and Lancaster, Calif., to create the Pacific hydrogen alliance.

It will be a significant step in developing a hydrogen economy in Hawaiʻi, according to a press release from Roth’s administration.

The alliance is being formed through the global H2 Twin Cities program, which was launched in November 2021 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Hawaiʻi County was selected as one of five winners in the first round. They are part of the “H2-Trans-Pacific” team with Namie and Lancaster. The “Hydrogen is Here!” team is made up of Aberdeen, United Kingdom and Kobe, Japan.

This program aims to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels by promoting the use of clean, renewable hydrogen energy systems. Participation in the program will provide Hawaiʻi County with technical assistance, funding and other resources to support the development of regional hydrogen energy networks.

“This is about walking the talk of sustainability,” Roth said in the press release. “We need to find ways to diversify our energy portfolio and economy while decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels, and we’re confident that the conversion to a hydrogen economy will significantly help us do both of those things.”


Lancaster and Namie will serve as mentors to Hawai’i County in this mentor-mentee H2 Twin Cities partnership. The cities will share best practices and strategies with Hawaiʻi County to support targets of carbon neutrality by 2035 and address shared aims to develop a trained workforce, improve diversity, fairness and inclusion, and environmental justice practices.

In addition, the partnership will emphasize the benefits of clean hydrogen solutions on people’s lives, the local economy and the environment.

On Wednesday, the Hawaiʻi County Council will consider Resolution 163. It allows the county’s Director of Research and Development to enter into the agreement to form the partnership with Lancaster and Namie.


According to Council Chair Heather Kimball, the resolution is merely a formality. The Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes stipulate that council approval is necessary for county departments to engage in agreements with the federal and state governments. Therefore, a waiver of Resolution 163 directly to Council was granted so that the contract could be signed on May 5.

Roth’s visit to California is a significant milestone for Hawaiʻi County, demonstrating its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and supporting the expansion of renewable energy jobs.

In addition, the selection of Hawaiʻi County for the H2 Twin Cities program is a significant achievement for the county and represents a crucial step toward creating a clean, sustainable hydrogen economy.

For more information about the H2 Twin Cities program and Hawaii County’s participation, please visit the Department of Energy’s website at: or contact the Hawaii County Department Research and Development. 

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