Hawaii’s largest utility signed a major agreement on Monday which could finally mean Hawaii becomes a leader in renewable energy with plans to produce 70% of it’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. With abundant power available from the wind, sun and ocean renewable energy experts have been very frustrated by Hawaii’s dependence on foreign oil.
The governor oversaw the signing ceremony in which the state and federal government and Hawaiian Electric agreed to get 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. The key is wind.
“Hawaii has world class wind that on those days we’ll be able to power as much as we can use wind and then not have to use liquid fuels whose price is completely out of control,” said Robert Alm, with Hawaiian Electric Company.
The power would come from wind farms proposed for Lanai and Molokai and delivered by underwater cable to Oahu where it could provide one third of the electricity.
The cost is unknown but to make it possible the whole way customers pay for and regulate energy had to change and everyone had to dream, plan and compromise.
“We put aside our different perspectives on issues to in order tor each our common goal and we know it won’t be easy,” Gov. Linda Lingle said.
While consumers will benefit in the long run, there could be short-term price increases. But, the electric company said it will offer ways for consumer to dramatically cut their energy bills.
“The consumers for the first time can completely gain control over their energy costs under this agreement,” Lingle said.
“You have the support of the people. It’s not going to be easy but we must do it,” said Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Examples of that new power over power for consumers include discounts for off-peak electricity and more incentives to put in solar water and electric and even personal owned wind generators if customers wanted to.