Darren Q&A: What got you started in the energy field?

I grew up in a small town in Hawaii called Hilo. When I was growing up we’d have frequent and lengthy power outages, sometimes intentionally, others unplanned. It was such a normal fact of life many Hiloians have forgotten about them now. From back then I was thinking about energy solutions. My first endeavor was in conservation which led me to found Energy Industries in 1994. My second was in clean energy generation which led me to found Sopogy in 2002. I think this passion to solve energy problems have driven my career.  This is also why I’m so focused on bringing solutions to markets like India where they’re experiencing similar power outage issues now.

Darren Kimura to speak at UH Manoa Energy series

UH Manoa will show Hawaii businesses ways to save energy and money
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – by Nanea Kalani Pacific Business News

The “Sustain Your Brain” program will include free lectures, workshops, noncredit courses and a film festival focusing on sustainability concepts.

Ann Brandman, spokeswoman for UH Manoa’s Outreach College, said it often sets themes for its summer sessions and decided on a sustainability focus in part to help residents and businesses save money by going green during rough economic times.

“Our mission is to extend the resources of the university to the community,” Brandman said. “So, with various green initiatives going on in the state, in both the public and private sectors, it’s obviously a good time to have this theme.”

The Outreach College, a self-sustaining unit within UH Manoa, will charge between $35 and $55 for some noncredit courses. Other offerings are being sponsored by various community groups and organizations.

For example, the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum at UH Manoa will co-sponsor a day-long look at the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a collaborative effort between the state and the U.S. Department of Energy that aims to accelerate the use of renewable energy sources and energy-efficiency technology.

The Blue Planet Foundation of Honolulu and the East-West Center are contributing to the day-long event by paying for speakers.

Brandman said the college also is planning a free lecture series on simple ways to save energy and money.

One of the scheduled presenters is Darren Kimura, president and CEO of Sopogy, a Honolulu solar technology company. He will discuss renewable energy technologies being studied in the state as well as the prospects for green jobs in Hawaii.

Another presenter, the university’s Center for Smart Building and Community Design, will give a free lecture on energy-saving architecture designs.

Noncredit courses that the college will charge for include Sustainability for Business, How to Green Your Office, and Understanding Solar Energy.

Another noncredit course, Sustainability 101, will be taught by Shanah Trevenna, the student sustainability coordinator for the UH Sustainable Saunders project. The project implemented simple changes to cut energy consumption at Saunders Hall on the UH Manoa’s upper campus.

Figuratively Speaking – John MacIntyre

Saw these interesting statistics in the Hawaii Business Sunday portion of the Honolulu Advertiser under the column by John MacIntyre “Figuratively Speaking”

Green Employment

  • Estimated number of jobs that renewable-energy and energy-efficiency industries currently provide, according to an American Solar Energy Society “Green-Collar Jobs” report and Management information Services Inc.: 9 Million
  • Projected number of jobs that can be generated by the renewable-energy and energy-efficiency industries in the U.S. by 2030: 37 Million
  • Percentage of all anticipated U.S. employment this represents:  17%

Darren’s Blog on Honolulu Biking

In effort to reduce emissions and set a good green example, I’m biking where and when sensible.  I’ve begun a Facebook photo album that includes pictures and comments on this topic.  To join in the discussion add me as a friend (Darren T. Kimura) and look for the “Honolulu Cycling: reduce emissions and road congestion” album.  I encourage dialogue and posting of relevant pictures.

Here’s my transportation set up:


Hybrid car, removable bike rack, Cannondale road bike.

The idea:

  • Park someplace outside of the city center
  • Bike in: Avoid waiting at traffic lights, paying for parking, reduce congestion
  • Save time: Its 4 times faster than walking, bike racks are generally very near to the building entrance
  • Bike to lunch or meetings as possible
  • Be seen: Become a reference point, encourage the conversation
  • Don’t get hurt:  Only bike where safe, make dangerous bike areas known
  • Do it when it makes sense

Comments taken on my Facebook page.