Articles

Energy Issues

Renewable energy credits benefit Hawai‘i economy

Once a rare sight, solar panels have sprouted on Hawai‘i rooftops in the past few years, quickly becoming a familiar part of our island landscape. Solar is increasingly affordable—aided by the state's renewable energy tax credit—and is becoming more accessible to businesses and Hawai‘i families. Unfortunately, some lawmakers are pushing to severely limit the tax credit, perceiving that the credit’s success encumbers the state budget. But a recent economic analysis shows that this is largely an error in perception. The solar that is powering homes and businesses statewide—spurred by the credit—actually has a positive effect on Hawai‘i's budget and overall economy.

Energy Basics

There are lots of claims made with qualitative statements like "There's plenty of oil in the Arctic." What does that mean, exactly? Something plentiful to an ant might be invisible to an elephant. A relative term like "plenty" is meaningless here until we establish whether our demand for oil is ant-like or elephantine in comparison to the potential Arctic supply to that demand. Discussions of an energy technology or resource without mention of actual numbers or meaningful relative comparisons by which we can gauge its suitability are often not very useful and can even be downright misleading. This applies not only to fossil fuels like oil but to their potential renewable replacements as well.

Seawater, a natural cooling solution

What we really want is light when it’s dark, hot water for a shower, and a comfortable temperature indoors. What if we could cut out the middleman and put an abundant natural resource to work in place of electricity? Seawater air conditioning is an energy solution that does just that.

About Renewable Energy

Hawaii is blessed with the most diverse array of alternative energy potential of any state in the nation. Blue Planet believes that harnessing the renewable, indigenous resources available on our islands should be common practice for economic, security, environmental, and health reasons.

On-bill financing makes clean energy accessible to everybody

Rising oil prices have all of us looking for real solutions to reduce the increasing burden of energy bills. Hawai‘i’s crippling addiction to foreign fuel means every uptick in the price of oil sends more of our limited dollars out of state — money that could spur the economy, pay down our mortgages or educate our keiki. Relief could come in the form of "on-bill financing," an innovative program that would enable residents statewide to choose affordable clean energy solutions. The Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission is currently considering its viability for the state.

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