The lead in a page 1 story in today's Honolulu Advertiser reads:
The goal of using solar energy for heating residential water is reasonable, but heating water represents less than half the typical household's energy load. What about the other 60 percent? What about the rest of the economy?!
It's past time for lawmakers to look beyond the obvious and get serious about how to exploit the solar energy trapped in ocean waters surrounding Hawaii. Using existing technology, OTEC can extract that energy and create enough electricity to power tens or hundreds of thousands of island homes, as well as commerce and industry.
Lawmakers have the means to help make Hawaii a world leader in this technology, creating new career options for our young people. Any legislator curious enough to read up about OTEC can start at this US Department of Energy website. (BTW, this site was last updated in 2005 and noted then that OTEC plants aren't likely to be economically viable "...until the price of fossil fuels increases dramatically or until national governments provide financial incentives." Do you suppose $111 per barrel oil is dramatic enough? And isn't it time for the DOE to update its OTEC website?) (DOE updated its OTEC site in December 2008 -- and several times since then.)