Sunday, November 1, 2009

Report on HECO Alternate Energy Briefing.

Hawaii is more dependent on foreign oil than any other state. Any disruption in the middle east will have a devastating impact on our economy. When the price of oil went to $148/barrel, Hawaii’s economy crashed. Anyone who thinks the present $80/barrel price won't go back up just isn’t realistic.

Ten percent of Hawaii’s GDP goes to import oil, and that money, over 6 billion dollars per year, goes to countries that don’t like us much. Any disruption in the Middle East can destroy our economy.

Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, aims to meet 40 percent of the state's energy needs through renewable sources by 2030.

An important part of that project is tying Molokai and Lanai, which have the wind power potential, to Oahu. An undersea cable between these island is being planned. The proposal involves landing power cables on Oahu at to locations. There will be two landing sites for the cable. One will be in town. The other will be on or near the Marine Base and follow either the Oneawa Canal or the H3 right-of-way to the power station located near the junction of the H3 and Kamehameha Hwy.

Governor Lingle has issued a Request for Proposal for an Environmental Impact Statement for undersea power transmission cables between Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Oahu a year ago. There was no indication of this at the meeting and no update on the status of the RFP. Of course, they did say they would prepare an EIS and they want Neighborhood Board help in reaching and involving the community in the planning.


Anonymous said...

It would seem to me that the opportunities for alternative energy in Hawaii are endless. The cables are a good step, but how about more and more and more solar? If we have one thing, we have sun. Also, tidal turbines are being used to great effect in the North Sea and elsewhere. So many possibilities. Not to mention that Oahu is an ecological nightmare when it comes to mass transit, especially now with Kapolei's having been built up. Very poor planning.

Bill Sager said...

Major solar projects such as are being developed in the desert southwest are not practical in Hawaii simply because we are island with limited space for such a project.

Practical solar will depend on commercial building powered by solar panels on their roofs and people like you and me who heat our water and power our homes with individual panels built into our home. Legislation last year requiring new homes to have solar panels is one step in the right direction.

HECO believes the most practical solution to providing a substantial amount of the power Oahu needs is wind energy generated on Molokai and Lanai.