Hawaii Geothermal Investment

New Bill Expands Renewable Energy Development in Hawaii

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted May 24, 2012

As reported in Business Week, a measure currently under consideration by Hawaii’s governor Neil Abercrombie could increase the geothermal output on all of Hawaii’s islands simply by amending the Hawaii State Planning Act to allow development of geothermal on state and public trust land.

Senator Malama Solomon, who introduced these bills, explained that geothermal, unlike wind and solar, is always reliable due to its reliance on underground heat, which will always be present.

The state has already invested millions in solar energy, but adding geothermal to the repertoire is an absolutely perfect addition. Should Gov. Abercrombie sign the bills and make geothermal a bigger reality, Hawaii will be taking a massive step toward its clean energy goal of 70% renewables by 2030. As of now, Hawaii is the most oil dependent state in the union with only 10% of its power coming from clean energy sources.

In addition, Hawaii needs more renewable energy sources because of its isolation. Due to its geographical location, the state has to pay higher costs to import fuel and isn’t able to share its power with neighboring states. The current electricity bill for an average Hawaiian is about three times the national average at about $200 a month.

Gov. Abercrombie has until the middle of June to decide to sign, veto or let the bills become law sans his signature.