Hawaii’s clean energy initiative

Hawaii is already ahead of a lot of places when it comes to solar energy. The government is entering into a an agreement with private industry to install solar panels on government facilities, and Costco just converted some of their businesses in paradise to solar.

Hawaii was the 2nd state in the US to establish a cap on greenhouse gases. On the islands research is being conducted to turn algae into biofuels, garbage is used to create electricity, wind and solar plants are going in and companies are installing geothermal plants to take advantage of the volcanic activities. The Hawaiian Clean Energy Initiative comes as no real surprise…although it is welcome news.

According to the agreement Hawaii would get at least 70 PERCENT of their energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“This innovative, unprecedented partnership builds on the progress the state has made to increase energy independence by decreasing Hawai’i’s reliance on imported oil,” Gov. Linda Lingle said in a news conference today. “Our islands’ abundant natural sources of energy, combined with the considerable capabilities of the Department of Energy, will help Hawai’i lead America in utilizing clean, renewable energy technologies.”

The plan calls for converting the smaller islands to 100 percent renewable and the utilization of local crops for producing energy.

The plan also draws upon information from federal agencies and research laboratories to develop solar, wind, and biofuel solutions to the islands energy needs. The eventual goal is to make Hawaii one of the worlds first clean energy economies.

Anyone who has ever spent time in Hawaii understands that just about everything you get on the Islands carries with it the costs of transportation. So much more than in more conventional states fuel has to be transported great distances and has the dubious distinction of having the country’s highest prices at the pump. To repeat a much overused cliché, “necessity is the mother of invention.” While we here on the mainland may not have the drastic need that Hawaii has, we will eventually benefit from the advances made by them.