A big mahalo to I Aloha Molokai, Kanohowailuku Helm and all of the wonderful volunteers of IAM for putting on an alternative energy festival on Molokai on Jan. 11.
They hosted an excellent and informative group of panelists that spoke to the future of sustainable and alternative energy generation in Hawaii. Almost everyone at the meeting was vehemently opposed to the proposed Pattern Energy wind farm at Maunaloa.
One panel consisted of members of the Quechon tribe from California, who detailed to the audience their lawsuit against Pattern Energy for destroying their cultural heritage and improper following of procedure. They also told of negative health effects on Native Americans living close to wind farm installations.
There have been other documented cases of people having very negative health effects from large-scale wind farms and having to leave their homes in Australia.
The overwhelming consensus at the festival was that solar photovoltaic is the best way to go for power generation.
Kauai now produces 30 percent of its electricity domestically and the grid is owned by a cooperative of shareholders with an elected board of directors. Maui County should look to Kauai for inspiration as to how to break Maui Electric Co.'s monopoly on our electricity. This will bring down our cost of electricity as well as move us toward less reliance on fossil fuels in a sustainable and expedient manner.
Kauai will produce 50 percent of its electricity on-island by 2020. We should do the same or better.