Improving Energy Resources in Hawaii

Written by Kelby Johnson, ESLLC 2015-2016

Hawaii has the nation’s highest electricity prices and most of the electricity on the island comes from imported oil. This makes Hawaii very environmentally harmful and gives Hawaii a lot of room for improvement. Because they import their oil, it makes the process very vulnerable to oil spills and that would ruin their ecosystem. Hawaii is so dependent on oil that 7.5% of its GDP is spent on oil and 75% of the electrical power comes from oil.

But Hawaii has a real potential to get away from these harmful ways and become more sustainable. According to Greentech Media, Hawaii “has 2,400 megawatts of generating capacity with 95 percent of the population served by a single utility.” Along with solar, wind, ocean and geothermal energy resources, people have also been looking into “EVs, charging stations, tailored algae strains, aquaculture with sustainably farmed fish feed, a smarter grid, and connecting the islands with improved broadband capabilities” to also decrease the use of oil. But there are hurdles to overcome.

People have become used to oil and petroleum being their main source of energy, so moving away from the usual would be difficult. Also, because of cultural beliefs, some of the locals believe that geothermal resources and working with the land could upset the goddess Pele. The switch won’t be easy, but it is very do-able and I think Hawaii can change from being one of the most oil-dependent places to a greatly sustainable state.

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Wesoff, Eric. “Moving Hawaii From Energy Disaster to Energy Miracle.” Gtm.com. Greentech Media, 5 July 2011. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

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