World of green energy is fraught with pitfalls

In reference to the Aug. 9 letter “Lower Maui energy bills by selling excess power”: It is obvious that many people cannot reconcile Maui Electric Co.’s foray into alternative energy with the unexpected continuing increases in electricity bills.

Alternative energy such as wind and solar will never fully replace fuel-based energy production because the electrical system must always be capable of generating enough instantaneous power to meet demand. Wind cannot be relied upon to produce power when needed without adding enormously expensive energy storage systems (gigantic batteries).

To whom can MECO sell excess wind-generated power if Maui doesn’t need it? It would require a major capital investment to install undersea cables to route occasional excess power to Oahu, which may not be needed when available. In the end, MECO customers all pay more for their electricity, not less.

Incidentally, MECO’s move toward smart meters on Maui is the first step toward total demand management, which ultimately means that MECO (or a state agency like the Public Utilities Commission) will control your electrical demand, including curtailing/cutting power to you when it cannot supply your needs. You will no longer have the liberty to run the air conditioner, wash/dry your clothes or watch your favorite TV show when you want.

Welcome to the brave new world of green energy.

Lee Aldridge