Fukushima Pref., German state join hands in hydrogen tech

Japan's Fukushima Prefecture and a western German state have agreed to broaden their cooperation in the field of renewable energy to include hydrogen technology, the Fukushima governor said.

The collaboration with North Rhine-Westphalia comes as the northeastern Japanese prefecture aims to reduce its dependence on nuclear power following the 2011 nuclear disaster at a plant there triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

During his trip to Europe, Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori signed a memorandum to include hydrogen and ammonia in the field of their cooperation to promote renewable energy, further enhancing a relationship formed in 2014.

Germany completed its nuclear phaseout this month by shutting down its last three reactors. Renewable energy accounted for about 50 percent of total power generation in the country last year and it plans to further expand the ratio.

Meanwhile, Fukushima is aiming to meet energy demand in the prefecture entirely with renewable sources by around 2040.

"We cannot remain the 'nuclear accident site' forever," Uchibori said at a meeting Wednesday with German state officials in Dusseldorf, stressing the importance of creating a new industry.

He also said hydrogen will be one of the keys to realizing a decarbonized society.

© Kyodo News