Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bill to Ban New Fossil Fuel Plants Deferred Again

• May 1, 3:50 pm HST Update: HB 1464 has been pushed back to late afternoon for consideration by conferees.
The guessing game continues about what Hawaii legislators will do with the bill that would prohibit construction of new fossil fuel generation here. Word from the Capitol this afternoon is that lawmakers have deferred the bill yet again – the third deferral this week. Tomorrow is the deadline on this session's legislation.

Keep reading below for our take on what passage of this legislation could mean. In the meantime, read what The New York Times said this week about ocean thermal energy conversion, one of the baseload technologies that could revolutionize the way Hawaii generates its power in the decades ahead. Shutting off fossil fuels for Hawaii's future plants could only hasten introduction of this and other breakthrough technologies.

Getting Real on Wind and Solar

James Schlesinger and Robert L. Hirsch authored a piece for the Washington Post a week ago that just came to our attention. Under the above headline, they present a tutorial on why intermittent forms of renewable energy can't get America off fossil fuel for electricity generation.

They stopped short and did not introduce the concept of baseload renewable energy in their commentary. We've been hammering away since March 2008 about the potential for ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) to become such a baseload renewable. The New York Times piece on the status of OTEC that's linked above is worthy reading -- and while you're at it, check out our first post on Hawaii Energy Options to get a flavor of why we're so high on OTEC. (We have to chuckle that the headline above that post also used the "get real" angle.)

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