Maui Business

Equity and Electrification to be Explored at 2020 Hawai‘i Energy Conference

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Energy industry leaders participated in a panel at the 2019 Hawaiʻi Energy Conference L to R: Abigail Anthony, Rhode Island PUC: Michael Picker, President of the California PUC; Governor David Ige; Jennifer Potter, Hawaiʻi PUC; with moderator Matthew McDonnell, Navigant Energy Practice. PC: Hawaiʻi Energy Conference.

The 7th annual Hawaiʻi Energy Conference will explore issues relating to beneficial electrification and the design of an equitable energy transition during its next conference on March 18 and 19, 2020.

Presented by the Maui Economic Development Board and supported by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the Hawaiʻi Energy Conference brings together regional and national experts on energy policy, strategies, leadership and innovation.

“As more functions are served by electricity, demand for electricity will rise. This opens pathways for more deployment of renewable generation, which supports the sort of ambitious decarbonization goals that state legislatures throughout the nation are enacting,” said event organizers.


“Keynote and panel presenters will attempt to answer a number of questions regarding the benefits, challenges, and practical limits of electrification”, said Doug McLeod, Conference Chair. “How can this concept have meaning so that ‘beneficial’ does not become another throwaway word like ‘clean’ or ‘green’? How does beneficial electrification differ from low cost energy and ideas of what is just?”

Given the wildfire issues affecting the West, will there be the same access to electricity for those who cannot afford microgrids or DERs? Can an electrified system be more resilient and efficient? What are the alternatives to electrification?  These are some of the questions that attendees can expect to explore.

“These topics are not unique to Hawai’i,” says Frank De Rego, Jr., Director of Business Development Projects at MEDB and Program Committee Vice-Chair. “Whether someone lives on an island or not, they will benefit from participating in the conversation to explore pathways to creating an equitable, resilient energy system of the future.”


The HEC consistently attracts energy industry leaders from Hawai’i, the Mainland, Japan and Europe to exchange ideas on how to better serve customers in the Islands’ rapidly changing energy environment. Event organizers say participants can take advantage of networking time and access to leading experts in the state.

Registration for the Hawaiʻi Energy Conference, held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, will be launched in December.

The 2019 Hawaiʻi Energy Conference featured an MOU signing with PUC’s of Hawaiʻi and California. L to R: James Griffin, Chairman Hawaiʻi PUC; Michael Picker, President California PUC. PC: Hawaiʻi Energy Conference.


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