Natural gas can supplement shortfalls of solar energy

The affordability of solar power continues to generate daytime savings for consumers. While I as a Coloradan embrace our 300 days of sunshine, I prefer to spend the remaining 65 days basking in the Maui sunshine.

As Hawaii builds its solar power arsenal, consumers need to recognize the importance of this renewable resource but also its shortfalls. First, solar panels will not produce energy at night nor on cloudy days. Consumers will need to supplement energy at these points of the day through batteries or backup power supply.

Second, evening power drain through air conditioning draws a heavy power flow at once that can’t be handled simply through renewables, which is why an all-of-the-above energy strategy advocated by leaders like President Obama is so important. As we move to offset more of our grid through renewables, we cannot forget the importance of preserving a consistent and reliable energy supply with clean burning natural gas.

My home state of Colorado has an abundant supply of natural gas that we’re hoping to supply to our Asian allies, and also to our Hawaiian partners. Natural gas provides a clean burning energy alternative that provides the consistent reliable energy that quickly balances the energy needs between renewable energy shortfalls. Keep this in mind as consumers consider clean, affordable energy options for the future.

Rich Coolidge

Wheat Ridge, Colo.