Mayors of Lancaster, Calif. And Namie, Japan confirm historic commitment at Japanese ministerial meeting on hydrogen and energy
The two Lancaster and Namie are pioneers of municipal innovation in clean energy. Mayor Parris launched by Lancaster clean energy transition over a decade ago, inaugurating the city’s own clean energy utility company and, in 2019, winning Lancaster the title of first “net zero” city in the world thanks to its investments in solar energy. Now, Lancaster aims to become the first US city to fully embrace hydrogen, hosting a green hydrogen production and anaerobic digestion plant, as well as city hall’s transition to run on hydrogen alone. This forward-looking vision has attracted billions of dollars in investment, jobs and taxes to Lancaster industry leaders including electric bus maker BYD, the world’s leading company converting solar energy to concentrated hydrogen, Heliogen, anaerobic digestion innovator Hitachi Zosen Inova and hydrogen gasification company SGH2.
Namie mayor Kazuhiro Yoshida shares this vision of using hydrogen innovation to drive development and progress. “Cities will focus on using their unique resources to advance the production, storage, distribution and use of hydrogen,” he told the forum, adding that they “will also continue[e] a roadmap that encourages economic development and social progress. ”Namie emerged from the devastation of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima to rebuild and reinvent herself as the world’s leading hydrogen city. In 2020, the city inaugurated the largest solar-hydrogen installation in the world at the time, ensuring such a reliable supply of hydrogen, it was even used to fuel the eternal flame of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
Ahead of the Olympic Games by Lancaster wears later this decade, Catherine barger, Supervisor of Los Angeles County, challenged the city to take advantage of hydrogen’s new role in games. “Wouldn’t it be great if Lancaster could supply hydrogen for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles? ”, she remarked during the signing event of the memorandum of understanding on hydrogen of cities in July.
Other officials have taken note of the global impact of these pioneer cities, including the representative of the US Congress Mike garcia of California 25e District. “I want to recognize the Town of Lancaster and the town of Namie in Fukushima, Japan for becoming ‘sister cities’ in their dedication to promoting hydrogen as a clean energy source for transportation and electricity, ”he said. “I can’t wait to see what this partnership will bring for Lancaster, California-25, the State of california, and the world. “
Although these local efforts have had a disproportionate impact, Mayor Parris of Lancaster made it clear that the US and Japanese governments should support their “smart sister city” vision by investing in hydrogen infrastructure if they are to create change. “While we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of hydrogen innovation, climate change is not a problem that only we can solve. climate will require investment, commitment and collaboration from decision makers at all levels, ”he said.
This sentiment was echoed by Lex heslin, Senior Project Developer at Hitachi Zosen Inova, who advises Lancaster on its Hydrogen Master Plan. “These cities are uniquely positioned to influence change at a granular level. Other local and national government agencies – as well as universities, the research community and the private sector – should do all they can to invest in them and expand this essential platform for innovation and change. “
THE SOURCE City of Lancaster, California