Monday, March 7, 2011

Politics & Energy: States Start Backing Away

The more other states go weak in the knees about renewable energy development for political or other reasons, the more steadfast Hawaii looks by comparison. has done a short survey of the energy landscape across the mainland now that different people are sitting in their governor’s office. The report documents more negatives than positives.

It’s not just energy, of course. Governors are tripping over themselves and each other on their way to network interviews as they turn down billions in federal funding for rail projects.

As we said after alleged baseball fans rejected the sport following 1994’s MLB strike, that means “more beer for the rest of us.” This time around, maybe that means more money for energy and rail projects in Hawaii.

We can hope, because as the charts show, oil prices are uncomfortably above $100/barrel and heading north.

More Geothermal Power

Word from the Big Island that Hawaii Electric Light Company and Puna Geothermal Venture have reached a deal for an additional 8 megawatts of geothermal energy that will be dispatchable -- i.e., available on demand by system operators. As noted on Ku`oko`a chairman Richard Ha's website, this new contract has other attributes, such as a lower fixed price per kilowatthour of geothermal energy.

Pitching OTEC

Elsewhere, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory sent three "story tips" to the media today, including one on ocean thermal energy conversion. We OTEC supporters will gladly accept support from each and every quarter, including Tennessee. Tennessee?

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