10th Ocean Energy and Economic Development Symposium

Since 2010, when the Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, the United States Department of Energy, Okinawa Prefecture, and the State of Hawai’i signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to develop and deploy clean and renewable energies as the “Hawai'i Okinawa Partnership on Clean and Efficient Energy Development and Deployment,” there have been multiple activities focusing on the possibility of cooperative projects relating to the introduction of clean energy. As one of the activities, ocean energy workshops were held annually and included themes such as economic development, education, and resiliency. In 2020, Okinawa Prefecture will expand the theme to Clean Energy in general and hold a workshop in Okinawa (web format).





The full program can be downloaded as a pdf.

Day 1 (11/8)

AM ・Welcome and Introductions
  ・Keynote: THE BALANCE OF POWER AND ENERGY: Innovative Approach to Resilience using BESS and H2
  ・Government Efforts and Projects
PM ・10th Anniversary Talk Story
  ・1MW OTEC Project and Ocean Energy
  ・Education and Environment
  ・1MW OTEC and Ocean Energy Group Discussion
  ・Energy Education Group Discussion

Day 2 (11/9)

AM ・Opening Remarks
  ・Strategy and Goals for Okinawa Hawaii Cooperation
  ・Energy Security, Resiliency and Sustainability
PM ・Hydrogen Panel Discussion
  ・Deep Seawater Use, Industry, and Health
  ・Group Discussions
       ・Area 1: DSW Industries [Health and Tourism ]
       ・Area 2: Energy Security, Resiliency, and Sustainability
  ・Group Discussions
       ・Area 1: DSW Industries [Fisheries and Agriculture]
       ・Area 2: Environment
  ・Panel Discussion


Please note that the information provided above is subject to change. Please pre-register to attend.

Optional Tour (11/7 PM)


An optional tour to NELHA facilities is being organized for the afternoon of November 7th. The tour will tentatively include the locations below and begin at 14:00. There is a 25$ fee for the tour:

  • Introduction to NELHA at Gateway Center
  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy
  • NELHA Hydrogen Facilities
  • Makai OTEC Demonstration Facility
  • Kampachi Farms
  • Big Island Abalone

More information on logistics will be available closer to the event dates. The start time may be delayed to accommodate international arrivals. If you would like to join, please register in advance and go to the NELHA Gateway Building. Thank you for your understanding.

Keynote Speakers

Day 1


  • Paul Ponthieux


    Vincent Paul Ponthieux - Blue Planet Research

    Director and CTO

    Topic: THE BALANCE OF POWER AND ENERGY: Innovative Approach to Resilience using BESS and H2

    Paul Ponthieux is the Director and CTO of Blue Planet Research, LLC located on the Big Island of Hawaii. He is also President of EMC2 Technologies, LLC who are the creators of EMCc, an Environment Monitoring and Control Center. From an architectural and engineering background he has been involved with sustainability issues throughout the Pacific for the past 25 years. In 2010 he cofounded Blue Planet Research to promote distributed generation micro-grids through the use of renewable energy technologies.

    BPR is an applied science and engineering organization that focuses on renewable energy storage technologies. BPR installed the first Vanadium Redox Flow Battery in the state, and were the first private facility to generate, store and utilize renewable solar hydrogen. Using advanced battery technologies and hydrogen they have demonstrated the feasibility of being fossil fuel free and energy independent with a hybrid system approach on their 32-acre microgrid testbed. BPR created the ultra-safe Blue Ion line of lithium ferrous phosphate energy storage systems ranging from residential to megawatt scale applications.

    BPR designed and built the NASA funded HISEAS Mars Habitat located on Mauna Loa which is powered by renewable energy with PV, Batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, and continues to serve as a testbed for new technologies.

    BPR also assists with first responder training and has an ongoing program to educate the public about the safety and benefits of using hydrogen in applications from energy storage and transportation, to cooking. They continue to test and evaluate hydrogen technologies ranging from electrolyzers and fuel cells - to internal combustion engine conversions.

    BPR is currently involved in major projects on the Big Island incorporating energy, transportation, and agriculture to demonstrate the potential of a self-sufficient community. Projects like this will enable Hawaii and other Island Nations to achieve energy independence and security, and sustainable prosperity.

    When not working on projects in the lab, he can be found flying his SR20 or earthbound goofing with his cats and bees.

  • Special Presentation

  • Yasuyuki Ikegami


    Yasuyuki Ikegami - Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga

    Deputy Director/Professor

    Topic: Ten Years of the Ocean Energy Workshops

    Education: Graduated from Department of Mechanical Engineering for Production, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Saga University, March 1986, with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering. Obtained the degree of Master of Engineering, March 1988 Department of Mechanical Engineering for Production, Graduate School Master Course in Science and Engineering, Saga University. Entered Department of Thermal Energy System Engineering, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences Doctor Course, Kyushu University, April 1988, and obtained the degree of Doctor of Engineering, March 1991 from Kyushu University for a thesis entitled: "Studies on the Vapor Compression Heat Pump System Using New Refrigerant."

    Professional Career: Served as instructor, OTEC Laboratory, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Saga University, from April 1991, to March 1993. Served as associate professor, OTEC Laboratory, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Saga University, from April 1993 to March 2002. Served as a visiting professor, Duke University, USA, from March 1996, to January 1997. Served as associate professor, Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga University, from April 2002, to June 2013. Serving as professor, Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga University, from July 2014, to present. Served as Deputy Director, an associate professor, Institute of Ocean energy, Saga University, from April 2002, to April 2007. Serving as Deputy Director, Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga University, from April 2014 to present. Delegate of Japan on Executive Committee Members of IEA-Ocean Energy System from 2003. Delegate of Japan of IEC/TC114 on OTEC from 2012.

Day 2

    Special Presentation and Hydrogen Panel Moderator

  • Mark Glick


    Mark Glick - HNEI


    Topic: Strategy and Goals for Okinawa Hawaii Cooperation

    Mark B. Glick is a Specialist on energy policy and innovation at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he focuses on energy transition policy and innovation initiatives in Hawaii, the Asia-Pacific region and in islanded and remote communities.

    Glick previously served five years as Administrator of the Hawaii State Energy Office where he led Hawaii’s internationally regarded energy transformation and also served as Vice Chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). During his tenure as Hawaii’s Energy Administrator, Glick was responsible for all State Energy Office regulatory filings and legislative testimony at the state and federal level, and helped Hawaii increase by more than 2.5 times its statewide portfolio average of renewable energy in the electricity sector from 10% to 27% and become the first state in the nation to adopt a legally binding 100 % renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Glick has a Master of Science, Public Management & Policy from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Lamar University.

    Panel Moderator

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    Masayuki Takahashi- Deep Ocean Eater Applications Society


    Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo (2004~) and Kochi University (2009~), President of the Deep Ocean Water Applications Society (2008~), President of the Japan Fisheries Resource Conservation Association (Foundation, 2015~), Director of the Japan Science Society (Foundation, 1985~), President of the Japan Science Service (NPO Foundation, 2004~), Director of the Marine Ecology Research Institute (Foundation, 2016~), Director of the Global Ocean Resource and Energy Association (Foundation, 2014~), Advisor of the Research Institute for Ocean Economics (Foundation, 2006~), Advisor for the Shiretoko-Rausu Deep Seawater Association (2008~)

2019 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

Kona Coffee



November 1-10, 2019

This year the Okinawa Hawaii Symposium will take place at the same time a the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, which covers ten days. While not directly related, both Okinawa and Hawaii grow coffee, and this festival highlights another link between these two island communities. More information is available at

Past Symposia