Islands need to work together on energy sources

I was surprised to read about Hawaiian Electric’s report claiming Oahu can meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals without help from the Neighbor Islands.

MECO and HECO have moved forward with many partners on large renewable energy projects, but HECO still generates 94 percent of Oahu’s power from oil (74 percent) and coal (20 percent). Only 1 percent of Oahu’s power comes from wind energy, while we waste nearly a quarter of our wind energy on Maui when it exceeds what the system can handle.

Hawaii’s electric grids are old and inefficient. If we can begin our upgrades by tying our Neighbor Island grids together so we can share power between islands, then we can make much better use of our diverse energy resources like Maui’s wind and the Big Island’s geothermal projects.

This isn’t a competition between islands. We will all have to work together to make this happen.

Wendy H. Baldwin