Hawaii Refuses Natural Gas in Favor of Renewables

Written By Christian DeHaemer

Posted August 31, 2015

With the U.S. on its way to cleaner energy production and higher energy dependence, it’s well-known that natural gas will still be a major part of the energy portfolio for a long time to come.

Understand, renewable energies are just not advanced enough, or well-established enough to supply 100% of energy demand right away.

But it still makes sense for most states to use natural gas instead of coal as a cleaner power source, even though some still only consider it a transitional tool until states can install enough renewable power.

Hawaii does not consider natural gas, or liquefied natural gas (LNG) worth any of its time.

“LNG is a fossil fuel. LNG is imported. And any time or money spent on LNG is time and money not spent on renewable energy,” says Hawaiian Governor David Ige.

At least for this island state, this move makes the most sense. Hawaii does not have anHawaii Renewabley major natural gas infrastructure in place, and would have to install extra capacity in order to make the switch. The state is actually the largest user of oil for energy in the U.S.

Unfortunately, this also gives Hawaii the highest energy prices in the country. Clean power aside, more affordable energy production is a must.

To make this happen, Florida-based NexEra is looking to buy Hawaii’s major energy utilities.

However, the state is worried that such a buyout will bring about a transition to natural gas instead of renewables. The price of adding infrastructure would likely negate or even outweigh the benefits of low-cost natural gas energy.

Instead, the state plans to use its sunny, windy, water-surrounded environment for all of its energy needs.

We’ve already told you about the state’s recently installed ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) hydropower plant. But the state can also boast that 1 in 8 homes have solar power, and its personal goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045 is the most aggressive plan in the U.S.

While natural gas makes sense as a cleaner energy source and transitional tool for most states in the U.S., Alaska included, Hawaii has good reason to forgo the transition and make the renewable switch more directly.

To continue reading…

Click here to read the Think Progress article.

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Christian DeHaemer

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Christian is the founder of Bull and Bust Report and an editor at Energy and Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor’s page.

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