The mood at the second annual VERGE conference in Honolulu, Hawaii last week was upbeat about the future of clean energy, despite pushback on the U.S. mainland. Apparently, those committed to a clean energy agenda, including the private sector, are more motivated than ever to push forward with aggressive programs to bring on-line renewables resources to not only to combat climate change, but to create jobs.
Conference attendees clearly supported the supposition that clean energy is here to stay, no matter what might be unfolding in Washington, D.C.The proposed dismantling of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and recent withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Accord on climate change only seemed to serve as motivation to push forward even harder.
Hawaii is the first (and so far) only state in the U.S. to commit to a 100% renewable energy future. Gov. David Ige of Hawaii didn’t seem to blink in the face of counter currents flowing from the Trump administration. A confessed energy geek, he seemed to take particulardelight in the fact that Hawaii has emerged as a key testing ground for bolstering commitments to infrastructure needed to integrate variable renewables for not only power, but transportation services. Since each island of Hawaii is its own separate electric grid control area, and retail costs are high due to such a reliance upon imported sources of fossil fuel, Hawaii is in a unique spot. The economics here clearly favor renewable energy.Read More