Hawaii Turns To Alternative Energy

What would you expect from a sun drenched island that has to ship in gas and resell it with such a premium?  This spells great news for the Hawaiian electric vehicle, EV market.

The gist, according to Globes, Hawaii and Better Place are in talks after mentioning it here, to finalize the adoption of its electric car and battery charging infrastructure.  Hawaii’s state government has been active on alternative energy sources, with a target of reducing the island’s dependence on oil by 70% by 2030, through the transition to renewable energy sources.  But it faces political hurdles through strong lobbies and opposition.  However, there is also a high level of awareness among locals in regard to air quality.

Why Hawaii? The islands are small, isolated and have short traveling distances.  It is the ideal place for the range of current breed EVs and their battery charging requirements.  And with abundant 365 days a year solar energy, continuous winds, close-to inexhaustible geothermal energy with its volcanic activity, there is also a wide range of agricultural crops for biological fuel.

The present. Hawaii already has a number of wind turbine farms in operation, one of which produces 30 megawatts a year.  In January, the US Department of Energy (DOE) signed an agreement to start working with the Hawaiian state government to develop alternative energy sources with a pledged $50 million.

The future. And there are plans to build six more wind turbine farms on Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu, with the largest backed by renewable energy giant UPC, will produce 300 megawatts.  All of which, including current ones could power 200,000 EVs.

But Hawaii just doesn’t stop here.  It is also working on capitalizing ay resources it has.  EcoGeek talks about the state using waste to power a 24 megawatt plant.

In many ways, we can be sure that places and countries where resources are more expensive and people have a harder time affording them is a perfect ground for innovations while most of the West watches it.