June 16, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES $3 MILLION FOR UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ENERGY RESEARCH

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to the University of Hawaii for energy research. This grant comes as part of the DOE’s nationwide initiative to advance hydrogen production and delivery technologies to produce, deliver and dispense hydrogen at a cost equivalent of less than $4 per gallon. Expanding use of hydrogen in transportation can help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, save drivers and families money over the long-run and reduce carbon emissions.

“This federal investment recognizes Hawaii’s continued leadership in the field of renewable energy research,” said Hirono. “As part of the DOE’s initiative to advance cost-competitive hydrogen-based energy, the University of Hawaii is contributing to efforts that could lead to significant advances in renewable technologies and create a stronger, more sustainable Hawaii.”

This grant will fund ongoing research at the University of Hawaii that examines the use of specialized cells, known as photoelectrodes, to harness solar radiation and use it as an energy source to split water molecules into their original building blocks (hydrogen and oxygen). Once separated from the oxygen, the hydrogen will then be utilized for fuel purposes.