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 (a travesty for a Minnesotan…) to weigh in on the remarkable opportunity to develop local, clean energy resources on the islands. In this 2-minute video, I describe 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. 100% renewable by 2030, for starters…
For more on Hawaii’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.