Richard Ha writes:
The U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawai‘i announced an unprecedented partnership Monday. The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is a brand new partnership between the state and federal governments that aims to have Hawai‘i producing 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
At this point everything is still conceptual, but the state has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Energy and this is a major step in the right direction.
I am very much encouraged by this collaboration between the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. Department of Energy.
It was two years ago that I started noticing creeping price increases. Farmers are some of the first people to see the effects of rising oil prices. Fertilizer, chemicals, irrigation, cooling packaging and transportation costs are directly related to oil prices. A year ago, it started to be very worrisome and I knew there was something serious going on.
In October I was the only person from Hawai‘i at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) conference in Houston, where I learned more about Peak Oil's consequences than I ever wanted to know. Because Hawai‘i is 90% dependent on foreign oil, I knew we were dangerously vulnerable.
I returned from that conference knowing that we in Hawai‘i needed to wean ourselves from fossil fuels or else would go into an unimaginable downward spiral. So I volunteered to sit on the Hawai‘i County Energy Commission. I also volunteered to sit on the Kohala Center's board, because of its good work in the alternate energy field.
Until Monday, though, when the Department of Energy announced its Memorandum of Agreement with the state regarding alternate energy, I really did not see how we could educate enough people in a short enough time to ensure political support for serious alternate energy projects.
This announcement is a very big deal.
I now feel we have enough momentum to start moving forward. In fact, I think we have enough momentum now to do what we need to do in order to protect ourselves from the consequences of Peak Oil.