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Maybe food crops should get highest priority?
Renewable and sustainable energies can bring more to Hawaii than lower monthly electric bills. Investing (with investment of land and money) in these technologies can make Hawaii itself more sustainable and create new jobs. Hawaii has enough renewable and sustainable energies that if the technology is perfected, Hawaii could be one of the largest exporters of wind, sun or bio energy in the world. If that were to happen, imagine the opportunity to the people of Hawaii and what a relief it would be to finally have the cost of living here decrease. And if economic growth, lower bills and doing the right thing for the planet aren't enough...check out the model that Alaska uses which "pays" its citizens because oil companies use the land there.
Renewable energy must become the future for Hawaii. Just look at the facts, 89% of our energy is imported in oil of which another 92% comes from Asia and the Middle East. This means Hawaii dollars are flowing out of the state for oil. Renewable Energy keeps cash here. Solar, geothermal, and wind create local construction jobs, local maintenance jobs and spur new technology sectors. These projects use lands that have been uncommercialized, note examples like the First Wind on Kaheawa valley ridge project, Hawaii's own Sopogy and their Keahole Solar Farm in a black lava field and Ormat Puna Geothermal in a tropical rain forest operating for over 15 years. We should absolutely give these kinds of projects priority over building a new high rise condo in Kakaako.
One last consideration - take the blackout on Oahu. This was due to oil fired generators going down in a conventional power plant. One unit trips triggering a chain event leaving the island and our President Elect in the dark for over 10 hours. If the grid were supported by a portfolio of renewables the grid could be better diversified keeping the lights on in certain cities or for certain key need facilities like the airport.
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