From American missionaries to imported fuel oil, Hawai`i has a history of dealing with outside influences. Now, as the state’s electric utilities face a new law requiring 100% renewable energy by 2045, the islands have a chance – at least with their electricity – to become independent.
Beginning Tuesday, October 6, we are releasing a report on Hawai’i’s ambitious goal, the hurdles they face, and some solutions to these problems. To prepare for the report, we’ve put together some resources about the battle for renewables in the state.
If your electricity—generated from imported oil—is the most expensive in the country and your solar resource is terrific, you’d expect your electric company to be making great strides toward renewable energy. On Hawai’i, the progress toward clean energy is in limbo, because island’s largest electric utility—largely owned by islanders—is likely to be acquired by mainland utility conglomerate NextEra, parent company of another regulated utility, Florida Power and Light.
Should Hawaiians accede to the wishes of NextEra and sell their largest electric utility to off-islanders?
ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy had the distinct pleasure of going to the Maui Energy Conference in March to weigh in on the remarkable opportunity to develop local, clean energy resources on the islands. In this 2-minute video, he describes the role of the public sector in this clean energy transition and—if they can’t come up with a better local alternative to the takeover of their power company—what Hawaiians should ask for in concessions, at a minimum.
For more on Hawai’i’s opportunity to shift to clean energy, check out our 2012 report—Hawaiian Sunblock—on the unexpected barriers to low-cost solar on the islands and the continuing coverage of the utility acquisition on Utility Dive.
Look for the full Hawai’i Report here, next Tuesday.