It’s a start, but there really needs to be more than this. There need to be incentives for wind, solar, thermal, and more alternative technology. Never mind lowering prices, raise the price of conventional energy to make the other sources more competitive….bring on the blackouts Linda!
Governor Wants Move Toward Renewable Energy – Yahoo! News
Gov. Linda Lingle said Hawaiian Electric Company’s call for energy conservation this week and gas prices rising again show the difficulty of the state’s dependence on oil. She announced Thursday her long-term plan to wean the state gradually from oil to renewable energy resources.
HECO warned Oahu residents of rolling blackouts this week if they didn’t refrain from using so much electricity during peak hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Until capacity increases, similar warnings are likely in the future.
The governor unveiled her 140-page energy conservation plan to address what she calls Hawaii’s long dependence on imported oil for energy.
“Our state has taken some small steps in the past to try to create energy self-sufficiency, but we feel a large leap is needed now,” Lingle said.
Among the proposals is a reward for conservation by requiring power companies to lower the bills of customers using electricity at non-peak hours. HECO officials said they like the idea and said they are already testing it in a pilot project.
The governor also wants electric companies to end their practice of sticking a surcharge on customers’ electric bills every time their fuel costs increase.
“It would mean that the utility companies would have to share the oil price volatility with rate payers. It would mean they would have to become more effective at what they do,” she said.
HECO rejected that idea, saying passing on oil price increases is fair and 35 other states do it.
Another key proposal is to require that 20 percent of all gas in Hawaii be from renewable sources such as ethanol by the year 2020. Renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, could bring lower costs to motorists and create new businesses to produce them.