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Cooperation with Japan has never been at a higher level

The Supervisory Committee of the Slovenia-Japan Project NEDO for the establishment of advanced infrastructure, smart grid and smart communities in Slovenia, today in Tokyo expressed its satisfaction with the implementation of the first phase of the project and approved the plan for its second phase. Members of the Supervisory Committee are Slovenia's Ministry for Economic Development and technology (MGRZ), Ministry for Infrastructure (MzI), ELES, Japan's National Research and Development Agency New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and Hitachi State Secretaries Aleš Cantarutti (MGRT) and Klemen Potisek (MzI) attended the meeting on behalf of the two Ministries. "Economic cooperation between Slovenia and Japan has never before reached such a high level. In the first ten months of the past year trade increased by 16%, with Slovenia's exports to Japan largely exceeding its imports. The NEDO project is an example of cooperation between the two countries that could serve as model for cooperation in other areas. We have already identified several such areas during this visit", said State Secretary Cantarutti after the meeting. Mr Potisek expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the Slovenian and Japanese economies are cooperating and developing solutions for issues of energy supply on a path towards a decarbonised society.

The first phase of the NEDO project, which is running according to schedule, focuses on the implementation of smart grid infrastructure in the areas of the distribution companies Elektro Celje and Elektro Maribor. The advanced solutions developed by Japan's Hitachi and several Slovenia's companies and research institutions will provide Slovenia's customers with a more reliable electrical power supply and the inclusion of dispersed energy sources in the grid (from solar, wind and small hydro plants).
 
The second phase will focus on smart communities. Development will be focused on efficient energy use in urban communities, and use of battery storage power plants. The will be implemented in Idrija and Ljubljana, where electricity storage systems will be systemically installed, and will make it possible to supply energy to critical users in emergency situations. These solutions are already implemented in the reference smart city of Kashiwanoha at the outskirts of Tokyo, established on the principles of sustainable development, ensuring a healthy and high-quality lifestyle to its inhabitants and the creation of new jobs.
 
During the visit, carried out at the invitation of Japanese, Messers Potisek and Cantarutti met with dr. Yoshiaki Ichikawa, the engineer responsible for strategic planning in the Hitachi Consortium, with whom they discussed artificial intelligence, smart cities, possible use and further development of blockchain technology, energy efficiency and other challenges of modern society. They invited Mr Ichikawa to the conference Energy Transition As an Opportunity for the Slovene Economy to be organized - under the auspices of MGRT and MzI - by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce on 26 April 2018 in Ljubljana. Mr Ichikawa, who is also Chairperson of the ISO Smart community infrastructures technical subcommittee, has accepted the invitation.
 
Messers Potisek and Cantarutti also met with representatives of Hitachi Healthcare Business Unit to discuss possible cooperation to introduce proton therapy to treat cancer. They also met with representatives of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The purpose of the meeting was to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.
 
About the NEDO Project
NEDO is a three-year smart grid project through which Slovenia will implement smart solutions to respond to the challenges of modern electricity systems in the light of sustainable development. Consumers will receive higher quality electricity supply and will have the opportunity to actively participate in electricity markets and system services.
 
The partnership agreement for the establishment of smart grids and smart communities was signed in November 2016 by Hitachi and ELES, project coordinator and co-founder.