Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hawaii PUC OK’s Long-Sought Feed-In Tariff Concept

With a new mechanism in place that encourages development of renewable energy, Hawaii advocates see the dawning of a new era that could propel the state as the leader in the get-off-oil movement.

No state needs it more. Oil fuels the generation of 78 percent of the state’s electricity; coal adds another 10 percent or so. But those figures should decrease dramatically in the years immediately ahead.

As the Public Utility Commission’s ruling states in its 128-page decision, feed-in tariffs will “reduce the state’s fossil fuel dependence and accelerate the acquisition of renewable energy."

At What Cost?

Predictably, the cost of renewable energy – at least in the early years – is likely to exceed the traditional way of generating power through combustion of coal and oil.

PUC Commissioner Les Kondo’s dissenting view cautions against putting too much a burden on ratepayers as green energy expands. Said Kondo: “In my opinion, the amount that ratepayers are asked to bear to support more renewable energy cannot be without limits and should be one of the most important considerations in designing a (feed-in tariff) program that is reasonable, prudent and in the public interest.”

Fair enough. There obviously must be limits. Renewable energy can’t be pursued without regard for the ratepayer. But as we’re prone to say lately, this generation can be on a par with “The Greatest Generation” – our World War II predecessors. Wouldn’t that description be deserving for the generation that relegated fossil fuel to the “back burner,” as it were?

We think so, and we now look forward to the ins and outs of the new feed-in tariff system that will be become the mechanism for overcoming the throat-gripping stranglehold fossil fuel has on the Aloha State.


oahu real estate said...

Hi Doug, I recently put 18 photovoltaic panels and solar water heater on my house. My power bill went from $625 to $150.

Would you be interested in doing a blog post about this to encourage others to follow suit?

I can provide pictures of the system and my power bill. I sent the info to Jan at the Raising Islands blog too.

oahu real estate said...

Doug sorry I didn't leave my contact info. you can email me alohatony @ gmail dot com.

Also here is a page on my site with the info on my solar power.