Monday, November 12, 2007

HI Superferry: Sustainability on Kauai?

I was inspired a number of weeks ago when I watched the HoikeTV video of a lady named Puala'a speaking forcefully to Gov. Linda Lingle on Kauai. Puala'a was listing off things that Kauai wants instead of a Superferry.

As I recall they included:
1. No Superferry on Kauai until an EIS is completed.
2. No GMO's on Kauai.
3. More sustainable local agriculture on Kauai.
4. Slow down and control unsustainable residential development on Kauai.
5. Solar panels on the roofs of all county and state buildings on Kauai.
6. Wind power on Kauai, "harness the makani," I believe she said.

With hawaiian mixed in her intelligent speech it struck me as almost the perfect statement on where the grassroots movement could go on Kauai. Puala'a and her son were two of the intellectuals who got into the water of Nawiliwili Harbor back in August 2007.

A few weeks later I was watching a show on Wind Power on one of the educational channels, National Geographic I think it was, and one of the locations they covered is an island in the North Atlantic where the island gets 100% of its energy needs from a windmill farm in which the population on the island are owners/shareholders.

That show reminded me of Puala'a's statement to the Governor. I did not take down the name of that island, but I did do a little research below on the state of windmill farms on islands around the world. I pass it along in hope that it helps.

Wind Power on Kauai:

Wind Power on Maui, Big Island, and Molokai?, plus "Makani":

Wind Power in NZ:

Wind Power Globally:

Aloha, Brad


jonathan said...

Pua La'a is pretty right on. She made a number of excellent points in her testimony. As a side note, it was her son who was the 12 year old arrested by the USCG/KPD for being in the channel on a surfboard blocking the ferry. Evidently, PuaLa`a is "raisin' 'em right."

This same kid later blew the conch shell of welcoming at the beginning of the Lingle "roast." Oh, the irony!

Energy Sovereignty: Local OWNERSHIP of Local Power!

Some of the steps mentioned in the article ARE being taken, but with the WRONG shoes on. For example, the county just inked an agreement with Sun Edison where SE puts PV solar electric panels on a county building roof, and then SELLS the power back to the county with a long-term contract - Solar yes, Local no. ;(

Similar arrangements with power purchasing agreements (PPA's) are moving forward with the same company that did the wind-install over on Maui (photo shown in article), Their investment. Their windmills. Their power. Our re-occurring bills... our savings become their profit. WTF!

When will we have LOCAL control over LOCAL power -AKA Energy Sovereignty - over local power? That is a great question. What is the purpose of the Electrical Coop where we are are all investor/owner/customers? Another great question. How is this for an answer - the pooling of community resources to achieve scaled capital to the better of the community re: our common electricity needs.

Here is what the answer is NOT: to sit around with they thumbs up they ass while other businesses (SunEd, Maui Wind etc) come in and cherry-pick OUR natural, renewable, LOCAL energy resources, then SELL the power back to us.

Sure, from an environmental perspective, wind power is much less bad than burning diesel, but from the perspective of the local economy, in both situations, our local economy continues to HEMORAGE CAPITAL. From an economic standpoint, this is utterly unsustainable FOR US. We can do better.

Let's make the pono energy investments today, so we can achieve Energy Sovereignty = LOCAL Ownership of LOCAL Power. We will be glad we did, and destitute if we don't.

MauiBrad said...

Jonathan, I'm in a funk from yesterday, but the only positive thought I could wake up to was about your point of "local ownership of local power." Specifically I was thinking of researching what are the cheapest ways that people can install their own windmill power and photovoltaic film material on their property. I'll start researching that. Aloha, Brad