Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good Hawaii Public Radio show and response to Tim Dick

Good radio interview on Hawaii Public Radio this evening with Senator Hooser, Mike Formby, and Irene Bowie (it will be up on podcast in a few days). The host Beth-Ann Kozlovich mentioned Tim Dick's recent blog entry on HSF. I had not seen it. Later in the show Tim Dick called in to try to state his case particularly for the size of the vessel. Actually the size of the vessel is not the most important point. The key point for commercial viability is not size but instead the amount of engine power, four 9000 kW utility scale marine diesel engines...almost twice the effective engine power, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions of any other comparable means of regularly scheduled interisland travel here.

Based on a complete survey of all ferries operating in the United States, I believe the ideal Hawaii interisland ferry would utilize half of the engine power of the Alakai and Huakai, not transport vehicles for personal use, only cargo vehicles, be able to make the interisland transits in 4 to 5 hours, and be able to transport 400 to 500 people and less than 50 cargo vehicles only. The new Chapter 343 EIS should allow for such realistic viability instead of continuing to be for one type of vessel or company.

Have reposted a comment to this in reply to Tim Dick's recent post on his Use Half blog.

Aloha, Brad

1 comment:

MauiBrad said...

Here was my reply to Tim on his blog:

Tim,

Thank you for noticing.

Re: "Ferries are far more energy-efficient than jets (especially for short trips) because they do not need to boost you six miles into the sky."

You are talking about slow ferries or fast ferries? Slow ferries would be more energy-efficient. Fast ferries are not more efficient than jets beyond a 2 hour fast ferry ride.

"It’s no wonder flying a jet to Maui produces about 120 pounds of CO2 greenhouse gas per 200 lb. passenger each way. The ferry produces just 20 lbs. of CO2 to move 200 lbs. in comparison."

The stats you refer to are dividing the much greater total CO2 emissions of HSF by total weight including cargo, a favorable comparison to a jet because jets carry much less lb. weight. When you do the comparison just by number of people, CO2 emissions are twice that for HSF compared to an interisland jet per person. If you are going to compare the CO2 emissions by weight, then you should compare HSF to Young Brothers. HSF's CO2 emissions are much greater than Young Brothers by lb. weight.

"(These calculations assume the plane and ferry are full. If each is, (as typical) about half full, the plane produces 240 lbs. of CO2 per person and the ferry 40 lbs. per person.)"

HSF has rarely run full. Hawaiian Air jets regularly run interisland at 123 people full.

"Flying has, and will always have, a uniquely important role in Hawai`i - there is no way ferries can match the frequency of so many trips to Maui every day for example. However some people take this remarkable luxury for granted. Superferry critic and blogger Brad Parsons says he “splits his time between Maui and Kauai” contributing 480 lbs. of CO2 to our atmosphere each time he makes that connection through Honolulu. We hope that Mr. Parsons offsets his carbon footprint via CarbonFund or similar as we do."

The paper took liberty with that quote, "says he 'splits his time between Maui and Kauai.'" I have been back to Maui once in the past 10 months. I view casual interisland travel as a waste of resources and money. I now 'Use much less than Half' for that purpose, something that much of HSF's expected market also appears to have done in the past 6 months.

Aloha, Brad