Column: Nurture local clean energy solutions

Mar 31, 2024

"Not many things can claim to have the support of more than 90% of Hawaii voters these days, but renewable energy appears to be among them ..."

In this opinion editorial in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Ulupono Initiative Energy Director Michael Colón shares how a recently completed a comprehensive statewide energy perception survey showed overwhelming support for renewable energy expansion in Hawaii, with 91% of respondents across all counties in favor.

"A stand-out topic was geothermal energy, with its promise of a stable and sustainable power source," Colón wrote. "It may surprise many readers that survey results indicated general support toward utility-scale geothermal power plants. Twice as many people expressing positive views compared to those expressing negative views — with distinctions in support levels across different regions and demographics.

"Interestingly, many residents assume Hawaii island is the only place where geothermal energy can be commercially produced, and yet that assumption has never been thoroughly researched nor confirmed. Research is warranted — especially in light of the clear need for additional firm, renewable energy generation to meet broader, economywide decarbonization goals ...”

Senate Bill 2518, if passed this legislative session, would direct the State Energy Office to conduct a statewide environmental assessment for a geothermal resources characterization program under the direction of the Hawaii Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center at the University of Hawaii.

Read the full op-ed >>