Energy Innovation in Japan and the Future of Climate Change | Mitsuru Izumo, Eiji Ohira, Kate Hardin

The challenges of climate change require solutions on multiple fronts, one of which is technological innovation. Attempts for innovation for new energy sources have been ongoing in many parts of the world, and Japan has produced a number of new technologies. This session focuses on two of the most promising innovations coming out of Japan, biofuel and hydrogen energy, and assesses their promises and challenges, highlighting technological, regulatory, and business aspects of developing new technologies. Where do these technologies fit in the energy portfolio that would address the issues of climate change and what can Japan and the United States do to collaboratively solve the key problems in advancing these technologies further? Three leading experts in the field discuss these questions that would shape the future of climate change.

Mitsuru Izumo is a graduate of the University of Tokyo, having specialised in agricultural structural
management. In 2005, he established Euglena Co., Ltd. to harness the properties of microalgae
Euglena. Euglena Co., Ltd. became the world’s first biotechnology company that succeeded in the
outdoor mass cultivation of Euglena. Currently, Euglena Co., Ltd upholds “Sustainability First” as
their philosophy and has developed the manufacture and sale of foods and cosmetics as the
healthcare domain, the biofuel business, the bioinformatics business, and the social business in
Bangladesh by leveraging Euglena and other advanced technologies.

Eiji Ohira is the Director General of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Office In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall strategy, execution and coordination of NEDO’s research, development and demonstration project on fuel cell and hydrogen. He has also coordinated fuel cell and hydrogen activities with international stakeholders, through International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Program (IEA TCP: Advanced Fuel Cell & Hydrogen), and International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE). He joined the NEDO in 1992, just after graduation from the Tokyo University of Science. He served as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997-1998.

Moderator: Kate Hardin, Deloitte Executive Director for Energy and Industrials Research. Kate has worked in the energy industry for 25 years. She currently leads Deloitte research on the impact of the energy transition on the energy and industrial manufacturing sectors. Before that, she led integrated coverage of transportation decarbonization and the implications for the oil, gas, and power sectors. She has also developed global energy research for institutional investors and has led analysis of Russian and European energy developments. Kate recently served as an expert in residence at Yale’s Center for Business and Environment, and she is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
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