Until now, the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative’s goal of achieving 40 percent from renewable energy by 2030 had seemed aggressive. As of this evening, it's passé.
Hawaii’s favorite son has seen that goal and upped the bet by going all in! Here’s how he stated his renewable energy challenge in his State of the Union Address and how he plans to pay for it:
Mr. Obama’s far-reaching goal surely fires the imagination and fosters hope for a nation that can function without reliance on climate-damaging, economy-damaging oil.
Hawaii is poised to fire the nation’s collective imagination with the innovations we can initiate and achieve here in the Aloha State. The President didn’t mention it, but ocean thermal energy conversion – OTEC, what we’re calling Big Ocean – can be a 21st century technological breakthrough to change the energy game.
Can we truly achieve Mr. Obama’s 80-percent goal without a game-changing energy breakthrough? Can it happen only with intermittent wind and solar farms backed up with batteries, biofuels and nuclear power? Can his quantum leap be achieved without tapping the inexhaustible stores of solar energy in the world’s oceans?
For the sake of argument, we’ll suggest it can’t happen with existing technologies. It will take breakthroughs in one particular technology – ocean energy technology – and if it’s to happen, there’s no better place for it to begin than Hawaii.
Mr. President, look to your home state. Support efforts to fund development of a pilot plant in Hawaii to demonstrate OTEC’s viability to replace oil-fired electrical generation in Hawaii within a decade!
By the time the nation reaches your 80-percent goal, let’s ensure that Hawaii will already be solidly locked in at 100 percent!