Articles filed under Energy Policy from Hawaii

Hawaii’s push for renewable energy could stall over public opposition to facilities

Renewable energy projects also have spawned large demonstrations. In Kahuku, more than 160 people were arrested last year after staging protests of AES Corp.’s Na Pua Makani wind farm – a project being developed on state agriculture land despite longstanding opposition by residents. Renewable energy projects on Maui and the Big Island have been hindered by litigation. And the pushback comes as Hawaiian Electric is really just getting started.
4 Feb 2020

Hawaii protests show why wind energy can't save us from climate change

The refusal of all-renewable advocates to consider the cartoonish land requirements of their schemes and how those plans are affecting ordinary people in rural areas is perhaps the single biggest disconnect in the current energy debate. How cartoonish? Last year, two Harvard researchers found that meeting current U.S. electricity needs with wind would require covering a land area twice the size of California with wind turbines. That’s beyond Looney Tunes. 
13 Nov 2019

Wind power raises Maui electric bills

Hawaiian Electric Co. spokeswoman Shannon Tangonan said Wednesday the Maui utility’s purchase of power from wind facilities, instead of the utility-owned fossil fuel plants, caused the April bills to increase. ...Customers on other islands saw electric bills decrease in April.
20 Apr 2017

$30 billion estimate burdens consumers, NextEra critics say

Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii LLC, said at a Waikiki business luncheon this week that getting the state off its dependence on oil would cost $30 billion over the next three decades. ...divided among Hawaiian Electric's 455,000 ratepayers on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island, each customer would pay an additional $183 per month for 30 years.
11 Nov 2015

Dear Maui: It's Your Turn!

Remember several years ago, when Lanai and Molokai were the targets of the undersea cable? One of the corporate partners of Pattern, Michael Cyrus, had this to say about us: "You have to go through this process of noise, where you let people feel that they had a platform to speak, but you can't let the noise distract you." Now it's your turn, Maui.
16 Sep 2013

How renewable portfolio standards can subvert your economy

Although there are currently 29 states/territories with mandated RPS, many legislators in those states are considering - if not actively trying - to roll them back. They are doing this not because they are anti-renewable, or disbelievers in climate change, or are in the pocket of Big Oil and Big Gas. They are doing this because they recognize the price-gouging, rent-seeking opportunities developers - some with no experience at all in building renewables - are relentlessly pursuing.
11 Sep 2013

Planned wind farm opponents: ‘Long road'

"There's a long road ahead for us," said Robin Kaye, a spokesman for the group Friends of Lana'i, which opposes a proposed wind farm project on the island's north end because of the development's cultural and environmental impacts. "Our focus in the next six to nine months is to educate folks on Oahu how much this is going to cost."
4 May 2012

Open the books on wind-energy plans

Given the enormous scope of Big Wind - its costs to HECO ratepayers as well as to neighbor islanders - this project needs to be vetted in the most transparent, accessible forum as possible. The public must pay attention - and, through Maui County and the environmental organization, now stands to benefit from a greater degree of openness.
13 Jul 2011

Wind, waste-to-energy not among plan's $1.5B renewables

Large-scale renewable energy technologies are critical for Kaua‘i to achieve sustainability, but proposals to convert the abundant resources of wind and solid waste to electricity still have unresolved questions. The two technologies were not included in $1.5 billion of private capital investments recommended by the final draft of the Kaua‘i Energy Sustainability Plan that was released this past week and presented to the Kaua‘i County Council and the public.
10 Jan 2010

Decline in tourism jolt to sales of electricity; MECO pushes back plans for more power generation

Maui Electric Co.'s sales, measured in kilowatt-hours, are down nearly 10 percent this year, a drop that tracks closely with declining visitor arrivals, said company President Ed Reinhardt. Before the island's economic downturn and fewer visitors coming to the island, MECO had been forecasting that it would need its next increment of firm power generation in 2011. Earlier this year, because of declining demand, it revised that forecast to 2014.
14 Jun 2009

Wind Energy: Unreliable, heavily subsidized

I'd like to share some thoughts on wind energy with you. My problems with wind energy have been the same for 40 years and little has changed to modify any of this. After 40 years of heavy subsidies, dedicated government research programs (wind mills just aren't that complex), wind energy is still a small marginal source of unreliable energy. Even with government mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards (government edicts, not free markets), which force the utilities to buy this costly energy, the problems are more costly and the engineering problems remain.
14 Oct 2008

Hawaiian breezes unreliable for power

With its ocean breezes, ample sunlight, pounding waves and a continuously erupting volcano, Hawaii seems blessed with the means to produce clean electricity and achieve energy independence. But that isn't anywhere close to happening. For one thing, the technology isn't quite ready. The big drawback with wind and solar energy, for example, is that the flow of electricity stops when the breeze dies down and the sun sets. Since there is no good way to store the power for use later, homeowners need conventional electrical service - meaning fossil fuel-burning plants - as a backup.
15 Apr 2007

Hawai’i not finding it easy to tap alternative energy

Down a dirt road on America's southernmost island, 16 windmills tilt their sleek blades toward the ocean, as dependent on the whims of Hawai'i's tropical breeze as residents are on the electricity they help produce. The Hawi wind farm on the Big Island makes clean and affordable energy, but the 100-foot-tall wind turbines stop when the air is still. Most forms of renewable energy face a similar difficulty nationwide - they're cleaner than oil and coal but fall short on reliability and convenience.
8 Apr 2007

Still Blowing in the Wind; Windmills Aren’t Much Help with Energy Supplies

Whether in the workplace, the home, or the vehicles which move us, electrical demands are increasing even as we use it more efficiently. Both memory chips and power chips are getting larger and more powerful. Even our vehicles are becoming more electrified from bumper to bumper. The trends will continue. This future will need large amouns of highly controlled, reliable, and purified electricity to help the U.S. economy remain productive. Wind energy is the antithesis of such energy needs.
23 Sep 2006

Wind Farms Are No Panacea for Hawaii - Grassroot Perspective

Even if wind turbines were built in Hawaii, excess capacity would have to be built to handle peak loads in the event that the winds weren’t blowing or the islands would experience brown-outs or black outs. The fact that the periods of highest demands would coincide with a drop off in wind speed means wind turbines cannot be counted on the meet peak load demands in Hawaii. So electrical generating capacity would have to be built twice, first as wind turbines and second as backup peak capacity protection.
22 Dec 2005
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