Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, surprised many at the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit earlier this week with his ambitious initiative to have the whole state running on 100% renewable energy by 2045. His most recent announcement centered on plans to reduce the state's dependency on petroleum by eventually halting the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and transitioning to something cleaner.
According to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, Hawaii is the most fossil fuel dependent state in the nation, spending roughly $6 billion each year on imported oil. With the help of the U.S. Military, and the cooperation of Hawaiian Electric Co., Governor Ige and his administration are hoping to change that.
In addition to its plans to curb the use of petroleum, the state of Hawaii is also implementing solar, wind and water systems with big potential. One particular system is the 105-kilowatt Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant, which creates electricity from the temperature difference between the cold ,deep water and the warm, surface water of the ocean. Currently, the plant is capable of powering up to 120 homes, but the potential for growth is huge.
Makai Ocean Engineering, the company responsible for the demonstration plant, estimates that OTEC has the potential to prevent CO2 emissions of over half a million tons per year and produce electricity at approximately $.20 per kilowatt-hour.
For more information on Hawaii's innovative energy initiatives, click here.