Thursday, February 24, 2011

Here We Go Again – Oil at $111 per Barrel

We started this blog nearly three years ago on the day oil hit $111 on the way up. We even got pretty worked up about it; here’s a taste of our first post:

“OTEC’s too expensive, you say? Shake out the cobwebs! This is 2008, not the 1980s; oil traded at $111 a barrel today!”

We started the blog to promote the unexceptional idea that ocean thermal energy conversion was indeed viable at that price – and even more so after another $36 was tacked onto the barrel price of oil by July.

Where are we headed today? Nobody knows, because nobody knows how the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East will shake out. We can only assume at this time that the sky’s the limit.

Hawaii has a few more megawatts of installed renewable energy today than it did in March 2008, but the green-energy contribution is still just nibbling around the margins of the total power demand.

Base load energy is what we need. Geothermal energy and OTEC are Hawaii’s best options. No additional megawatts have been added from those technologies in the past three years.

What does that tell you? It says we’re as vulnerable as ever to supply interruptions and spikes in the price of imported energy.

Kama`aina will remember the tire outlet TV spot that played on Honolulu TV stations decades ago:

“Go now, Hawaii. Why pay more?"

Why? Apparently because we’re not yet serious enough about the necessity to get off oil. Maybe the oil crisis of 2011 will do the trick.

No comments: