Richard Ha writes:
Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, the U.S. mainland has moved away from dependence on foreign oil for its electricity generation. Consequently, electrical generation there is mostly powered by coal, natural gas, hydro power and nuclear. The result is that a kilowatt of electricity on the mainland costs about 8 cents/kilowatt hour.
Though we generate maybe 30 percent of our energy from geothermal and other renewable sources, since contracts used to be based on “oil” costs our electricity rates are now nearly four times higher than on the mainland. This despite the fact that geothermal costs less than half what oil-generated electricity costs.
These days new alternative energy contracts are by competitive bid, so any new form of purchased energy, such as geothermal, would be at lower rates than we pay now.
We need to increase our use of geothermal power here, because overall geothermal is the least expensive of the alternate sources of electrical energy. When electrical costs and water bills rise, it is the poor that first feel the effects. We must figure out how to avoid using foreign oil, because as those prices rise it’s like a giant tax, throwing us into recession. This makes us unable to take care of the most needy.
We need to do something about this and we need to do it quickly, or the least fortunate among us will be hurt very badly.