Maui News

Hawai’i is “Perfect Test-Bed” for Clean Energy Initiatives

November 13, 2011, 9:05 AM HST
* Updated November 14, 5:49 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Maui's first windfarm project, the Kaheawa Windfarm, is located in Maalaea. The Ulupalakua project is designed to capture wind resources on the other side of Maui's isthmus along the Slopes of Haleakala. Aerial photography by Wendy Osher.

US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, joined US Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawai’i and Governor Neil Abercrombie over the weekend in a roundtable discussion on furthering the clean energy initiatives between Hawai’i and the federal government.

“The Obama Administration and Governor Abercrombie share a commitment to promoting the use of locally-produced, clean renewable energy,” said Secretary Chu.

“As we compete in the global marketplace for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow, we need to continue to invest in the technologies that will create jobs here in Hawai’i and ensure American companies remain competitive,” he said.

About two dozen government and private leaders discussed renewable energy projects, continued smart grid advancements, biofuel development, and the necessity of an inter-island cable.

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“Hawai’i is a natural alternative energy test-bed due in large part to the many partnerships we enjoy,” said Senator Inouye.

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“We must have the political will to stay the course not just for us but for the next generation. It is time to take our test-bed to the next level,” he said.

Governor Abercrombie said the state’s partnership with the federal government is a key ingredient in reaching the goals of an island state. “In reaching these goals, we are not only protecting ourselves from the volatility of outside fossil fuel markets, but are setting standards for the rest of country and the world in the application of clean energy technologies.”

Under the Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative, the state has partnered with the US Department of Energy to implement actions to reduce Hawai’i’s dependence on fossil fuel oil by 70% by the year 2030.

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“This is very exciting. Hawai’i is the perfect test-bed for us,” said Secretary Chu.

*** Supporting information courtesy, Office of the Governor, State of Hawai’i.

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