Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Show’s Inaugural Guests Return with an Update; Energy Futures Transitions to a Different Host


Ted Peck (center) and Robert Harris returned to Energy Futures for the final show produced and hosted by Doug Carlson (broad smile).

State Energy Administrator Ted Peck and Sierra Club Hawaii director Robert Harris were the first guests on Energy Futures when the Hawaii Public Radio program began on July 6, 2009. They returned yesterday for producer and host Doug Carlson’s final show in his volunteer gig.

Beth-Ann Kozlovich, executive producer of HPR’s public affairs programming, will carry on in Doug’s former role at least for a while as he devotes full time to Carlson Communications, his communications consultancy with special attention to renewable energy and sustainability, including building the Honolulu rail system. There’s been considerable positive feedback from the community about the weekly show, which was broadcast live 5-6 pm HST Mondays on KIPO-FM, 89.3 in Hawaii. (August 2010 Update: the program no longer is part of HPR's public affairs lineup.)

Energy Futures has devoted more time than the daily media can to a wide range of issues and technologies during the past seven months – geothermal energy, wind, solar, wave, biofuel, ocean thermal energy conversion (Doug’s favorite), climate change, sea level rise, the Public Utilities Commission, feed-in tariffs, energy conservation, electric vehicles, food and agriculture sustainability and so on. One of the first shows looked into Native Hawaiian concerns about renewable energy development.

Ted and Robert covered numerous energy issues and took listeners' questions on Monday’s program. Next week, Beth-Ann will take a close look at Hawaiian Electric Company’s recent filing with the PUC to suspend additional photovoltaic hookups in Maui and Hawaii counties while studies are conducted on grid reliability. Ted Peck will be back, along with a HECO representative.
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July 19, 2010 Update: Dr. Stephen Schneider, Stanford University climate scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (along with his colleagues on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Vice President Al Gore), died today. His interview on "Energy Futures" was broadcast twice in 2009 and was archived on the Internet.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EF Highlights Blue Planet’s Legislative Initiatives

Blue Planet Foundation Executive Director Jeff Mikulina
“If at first you don’t succeed…..” You know the rest of that ditty. The dollar-per-barrel tax on imported oil made it through the Legislature in 2009 only to be vetoed by the Governor. The measure failed when the veto override vote fell short.

That was then, and the 2010 version of the legislation backed by the Blue Planet Foundation is now a $5-per-barrel tax. Executive Director Jeff Mikulina described the Foundation’s top legislative priorities on Monday’s Energy Futures show.

The barrel tax is priority #1, and not far behind is the measure called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Bond Financing. Jeff said he’s open to a better name and invited listeners to visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about the Foundation's dozen policy proposals before the Legislature.

Monday, February 22

My last show! But the show will go on; Beth-Ann Kozlovich will fill the role of producer and host until another person is found do those jobs. We kicked off the weekly program in July 2009 and gave it seven months before deciding this HPR volunteer needs to start spending his time more profitably while advancing renewable energy projects (see our communications consulting practice’s website).

The final program under the current host will bring back the first show’s two guests – State Energy Administrator Ted Peck and Sierra Club director Robert Harris.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archived file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wave Energy Advocates Say It’s Coming Soon; Marine Base Sets Goal of 100% Renewables by 2015

State Representative Cynthia Thielen
We must admit to setting aside some of our skepticism about the potential for wave energy conversion (WEC) to make inroads in Hawaii. Representative Cynthia Thielen, our in-studio guest, admitted to being furious (in a good-natured way) with Energy Futures’ host (me) on those occasions when that skepticism crept into earlier programs.

Still, the up-front capital cost for WEC and other renewables remains a key obstacle to the rapid rollout of this particular technology. Rep. Thielen and our other guests on Monday’s show – Dr. Tom Denniss of Oceanlinx and Kent Murata of Marine Corps Base Hawaii – remain optimistic.

Oceanlinx hopes to install two or three platforms off the north coast of Maui within two years. Denniss described the company’s technology in general terms and declined to estimate what the price of its wave-produced energy will be.

Murata said Ocean Power Technologies has deployed a buoy in Kaneohe Bay in cooperation with the Marine base. He said the base’s intention is to be 100-percent energy independent by 2015, the most aggressive timetable we’ve heard in the islands.

WEC seems to have sparked the public’s imagination. The show had more callers during the hour than any other topic in Energy Futures’ seven-month run.

Monday, February 15

Our next program will focus on energy-related legislation before the current session of the Legislature with guest Jeff Mikulina, executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archive file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sustainable Agriculture & Energy Share Top Billing

Jerome Renick and Richard Ha
Big Islanders Richard Ha and Jerome Renick flew to Honolulu to be on Energy Futures this week, bringing with them an agricultural perspective that was refreshingly different from what passes for normal fare in Honolulu.

Richard is president of Hamakua Springs Country Farms located on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, and Jerry is with the Integrated Agriculture Network, also on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast. They both champion expansion of Hawaii’s agriculture sector as part of a broader sustainability endeavor, including energy independence.

Kelly King, vice president of Pacific Biodiesel, called in from her Maui office to talk about the company's blessing of a new facility in Keaau on the Big Island this week. It will use cooking oil and the residue of grease traps to process into biofuel. Contributing in the program’s last segment was Hawaii Solar Energy Association President Mark Duda, who answered callers’ questions on solar energy.

Monday, February 8

Wave energy will be our focus in the next program. State Representative Cynthia Thielen will be with us in the studio to take listeners’ calls. Joining us by phone will be representatives of Oceanlinx, an Australian company that is actively pursuing a wave energy project off the coast of Maui.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archived file of Monday's show is posted at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It’s Electric! Hawaii Anticipates a Car Revolution

Brian Goldstein, Scott Saffian, Mark Piscioneri
The industry that hopes to bring all-electric vehicles to Hawaii consumers made news in recent days, so yesterday’s Energy Futures program had the advantage of also being exceptionally timely.

Better Place announced a $350 million private financing deal yesterday, and Brian Goldstein, the company’s Honolulu representative, was with us to describe it and reaffirm Better Place’s plans for the Hawaii market.

Only Hawaii and California’s Bay Area are the announced targets for Better Place’s near-term efforts in the United States, and Goldstein said his job is to be sure Hawaii has priority over California. Significant development of the company’s network could begin within a couple years after the initial push in Israel and Denmark.

Also in the studio were Mark Piscioneri, Oahu Manager of Maui-based Hawaii Electric Vehicles, which presided over the dedication of Honolulu’s first electric vehicle charging station in Kakaako last Saturday. The Charge Point station is manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, and a last-minute addition to the show was Scott Saffian, the company’s senior vice president for sales.

Contributing in the program’s last segment was Hawaii Solar Energy Association President Mark Duda, who answered callers’ questions on solar energy. We’ll continue to take such calls until they taper off, so Mark will be back next Monday in the program’s third segment.

Monday, February 1

Next Monday’s program will focus on sustainable agriculture and its relationship to energy efficiency. Guests will be Richard Ha, president of Hamakua Springs Country Farms located on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, and Jerome Renick of the Integrated Ac\griculture Network, also on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archive file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mark Duda’s Solar Q&A Segment Deemed a Success; Electric Vehicles To Be Spotlighted in Next Show

Drs. Sharon Miyashiro and Mike Hamnett (in HPR-logo T-shirt)
Listening to what our audience wants to talk about over the past six months led us to schedule a question-and-answer segment devoted to solar energy in Monday’s Energy Futures program. The experiment worked, and Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, joined the show in the third and final segment to answer several calls from listeners about solar installation and financing.

Solar is the hot topic in Hawaii energy circles as individual consumers seek ways to save on their electric bills and reduce fossil fuel use, so we’re bringing Mark back in next Monday’s show and will keep doing so in the 5:40-6 pm (HST) segment until we seem to have exhausted our listeners’ questions – or Mark.

The majority of the program was devoted to the package of legislative proposals currently being coordinated among the 47 members of the Hawai Energy Policy Forum. Co-chairs Dr. Sharon Miyashiro and Dr. Mike Hamnett discussed in general terms (because all 47 haven’t signed off yet) the Forum's initiatives in energy leadership, energy conservation and renewable energy. The program is archived at Hawaii Public Radio’s website.

January 25th -- Electric Vehicles

Next Monday’s program will focus on all-electric vehicles and how soon we may see advances in rolling them out in Hawaii. Our guests will be Brian Goldstein of Better Place, which in 2008 announced its intention to invest $1 billion in building an electric car network in Hawaii, and Mark Piscioneri, Oahu Manager of Maui-based Hawaii Electric Vehicles. HIEV will have unveiled Honolulu’s first electric vehicle charging station in Kakaako on Saturday, January 23.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archive file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at HPR's site.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Energy Policy Forum Agenda Is Monday’s Show; Plus, We Start a Recurring Solar Energy Feature

Guests on Monday’s Energy Futures show will be the co-chairs of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum – Sharon Miyashiro and Mike Hamnett, both of the University of Hawaii. We’ll discuss the Forum’s legislative proposals for this year’s session, which begins on January 20.

We’ll also launch a new – and we think recurring – feature on Monday’s program, a segment reserved for our listeners’ questions on solar energy and how to integrate it into their lives. The evidence of the past six months of shows is in: Listeners light up Hawaii Public Radio’s phone lines more when solar energy is the theme than for any other topic. Mark Duda (right), president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, will be available during the program’s third and final 20-minute segment to take callers’ questions. We’re planning to make this a feature in the 5:40 p.m. segment; we’ll promote it and see whether it has the appeal we think it will.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” every Monday 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archive file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Big Inroads on Jet Fuel Options Decades Away

Keoni Wagner and Pat Takahashi
Here’s a switch. Rather than write about this week's Energy Futures show myself, I referring you to Pat Takahashi’s blog. He was a guest on the show and was taking notes while I moderated the conversation.

With him in the studio was Keoni Wagner of Hawaiian Airlines, and on the phone were Tom Todaro, CEO of AltAir Fuels in Seattle, and John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist of the Air Transport Association in Washington, D.C.

Pat’s review of the show seems complete to me. I’ll just note the feeling of disappointment that arrived when the guests agreed that we won’t see significant gains in substituting biofuel for fossil-based jet fuel until the 2020’s at the earliest. As Pat notes, this is a decades-long quest, and we’ve already lost decades in arriving at this point.

Next week’s guests will be the co-chairs of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum – Sharon Miyashiro and Mike Mamnett, both of the University of Hawaii. We’ll discuss the Forum’s legislative proposals for this year’s session, which begins on January 20.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet. An archive file of each week’s show is usually posted sometime on Tuesday at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Alternatives to Jet Fuel Topic of Monday’s Show

Hawaii’s economy requires a healthy tourism industry to thrive. Tourism in turn requires affordable air transportation to the islands from both east and west.

Jet fuel is the mother’s milk of Hawaii’s tourism industry, and when the price of oil increases, air travel becomes less affordable. That was never more obvious than in 2008, when oil prices soared to nearly 150 dollars per barrel. Record high oil prices and the worsening recession resulted in a steep downturn for our economy.

Could it happen again? Many observers believe it’s inevitable as long as Hawaii’s economic survival remains so overwhelmingly dependent on oil. Monday’s Energy Futures program on Hawai Public Radio will look at recent efforts to find a replacement for jet fuel before oil runs out or becomes so expensive few will be able to afford air travel.

AltAir Fuels Inc. of Seattle has signed an agreement with 14 airlines, including Hawaiian Airlines, to supply them with plant-based biofuel. We’ll discuss those efforts with company CEO Tom Todaro by telephone. With us in the studio will be Hawaiian Airlines vice president and long-time spokesman Keoni Wagner.

And we've added two other guests just today (1/11) -- John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist of the Air Transport Association, and Pat Takahashi, retired University of Hawaii profession and veteran of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute whose Huffington Post contribution a few months ago predicted severe economic troubles for Hawaii if energy costs were to return to 2008 levels.

Listeners can join the show by calling 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond. Energy Futures is broadcast “live” on Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on the Internet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Solar Energy Issues Dominate Listeners’ Calls

Warren Bollmeier and Mark Duda
Energy Futures started the year yesterday by provoking a good number of calls from listeners with questions on solar energy-related topics -- installation, the proposed feed-in tariff system, net metering, etc.

Most of our the answers were supplied by Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, and Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance president Warren Bollmeier contributed as well.

Starting the program off was Dr. Sharon Miyashiro (at left), co-chair of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum, which will conduct a public legislative briefing at 10 -11 am Friday, January 8. Numerous energy-focused groups will have booth displays that day on the Capitol’s fourth floor.

Dr. Miyashiro and Forum co-chair Dr. Mike Hamnett will be our Energy Futures guests on January 18. The Hawaii State Legislature convenes on January 20.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” Mondays 5-6 pm HST on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and also is streamed at that time at the Hawaii Public Radio website. Shows are archived for a few weeks after they’ve aired and are available online for downloading.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Show To Discuss Hawaii Energy Initiatives in ’10; Listeners Can Join In with Their Own Wish List

The Hawaii Energy Policy Forum will conduct its annual Legislative Briefing on January 8 this year, and we’ll start Monday’s Energy Futures programs with a general overview of the Forum’s outlook for this legislative session.

Forum co-chair Dr. Sharon Miyashiro will join us by phone to open the show, and we’ll invite listeners to comment on the Forum’s plans and share their views on what’s needed from the Legislature this year to keep Hawaii on track to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

In the studio to answer listeners’ questions and share their own views will be Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, and Warren Bollmeier, president of the Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” Mondays 5-6 pm HST and also is streamed at that time at the Hawaii Public Radio website. Shows are archived for a few weeks after they’ve aired and are available online for downloading.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guests Cover Interisland Cable, Other Energy Issues As We Connect with a Listener in Far-Off Germany

Josh Strickler and Henry Curtis in HPR's studio.
We jokingly billed yesterday’s program as the President Obama Call-in Show, since he’s spending the year-end holidays in Hawaii and -- as they used to say in radio – was "within the sound of my voice.”

Predictably, that didn’t happen, but we did score the unusual – our first call from Europe from a listener in Germany who was following Energy Futures via online streaming.

Our guests were Representative Hermina Morita (at right), who was on Kauai; in the studio were State Renewable Energy Facilitator Josh Strickler and Life of the Land executive director Henry Curtis.

A highlighted topic was the planned underwater electric cable system that would link Oahu, Molokai and Lanai into an electrical grid for the first time. Neighbor islanders called with a concern that their islands would be negatively impacted by development of 200+ megawatt wind farms that would feed power to an energy-hungry Oahu. You can listen to the hour-long program at Hawaii Public Radio’s website once it’s posted there (sometime later today).

The first show of the New Year next Monday will be dedicated to transportation energy issues. Our intended guests will discuss development of an alternative to petroleum-based jet fuel and the latest plans to create a fleet of electric vehicles in the islands.

Energy Futures is broadcast "live" 5-6 pm HST Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in the islands) and on the Internet via streaming.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Year-End Show Looks Both Ways on Energy

Hawaii Public Radio’s Energy Futures show will end its first six months with a look back to renewable energy developments here in ’09 and a look ahead to what we can expect in the New Year -- especially in the Legislature's new session starting next month.

Our guests will be state Representative Hermina Morita, chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection; State Renewable Energy Facilitator Josh Strickler, and Life of the Land's Executive Director Henry Curtis.

This will be a lively discussion, including Henry’s view in a Honolulu Advertiser commentary today that the publicly-stated costs for the planned underwater cable between the islands are understated.

Energy Futures is broadcast 5-6 pm HST each Monday on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and streamed on the Internet at HPR’s website. Call the show with your comments and questions; the number on Oahu is 808-941-3689 and from the neighbor islands, it’s 1-877-941-3689.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

‘Age of Consumerism’ May Need Rethinking; Journalism Climate Summit Suggested Here

Drs. Tom Brislin, Toufiq Siddiqi and Susan Chandler in HPR's studio.
Guests spent the hour on Monday’s Energy Futures program reflecting on the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and suggesting policy options that will be required for Hawaii to adapt to the climate realities of the 21st century.

Dr. Toufiq Siddiqi of the East–West Center was not as pessimistic as some about China’s refusal to allow inspections of its greenhouse gas emissions and presumed future reductions. He said it’s a relatively easy matter to know how much fuel is being burned. The Reaganesque “trust but verify” dictum may be outdated, he suggested.

Drs. Susan Chandler and Tom Brislin of the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center predicted policy shifts that will help the state adapt to climate change. A major conundrum will be how Americans will adapt their own lifestyles if and when the fight against climate change becomes the moral equivalent of war. The Age of Consumerism that has been raging since World War II in the United States may soon be out of fashion.

As the hour-long program wound down, participants discussed the role of the news media in “partnering” with government and others in the climate fight. Unanswered was the question whether media executives and gatekeepers are sufficiently educated on climate issues, and that led to suggestions that a global journalism summit could be held in Honolulu that would benefit from the leadership of the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center, whose Jefferson Fellowships journalism program is highly-regarded.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST on Mondays on Hawaii Public Radio's KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and via streaming on HPR’s website. Monday's show has been archived and will be available there for several weeks.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Post-Copenhagen, We Explore What It Means

The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference apparently has ended with a whimper, although that may be too hasty an assessment. But if what was “decided” there isn't expected to actually start rolling back climate change, that assessment may be both hasty and accurate.

My Energy Futures guests on Monday will have had nearly 72 hours to ponder the conference’s outcomes, so their analysis won’t be exactly instant. Dr. Toufiq Siddiqi of the East–West Center, and Drs. Susan Chandler and Tom Brislin of the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center will discuss what we’re likely to encounter in Hawaii and the Pacific as a result of a climate meeting that didn’t meet expectations.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed on Hawaii Public Radio’s website.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Talk of Copenhagen Includes Next Generation

The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference is in its final days, and its outcome is as uncertain as the weather. We’ll try to make some sense of it with our two guests – Dr. Roger Lukas, professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii, and Natasha Reznickcheck, a student at Honolulu’s Academy of the Pacific.

Dr. Lukas is a member of the generation that has confronted global warming with scientific research, while Ms. Reznickcheck represents the next generation that is starting to undertake energy-related projects at the school level. We intend to learn more from both.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST on Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed at Hawaii Public Radio's website.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scientists Highlight Copenhagen’s Importance; Future Storms Likely to Cause Greater Damage

Dr. Kevin Hamilton in HPR's studios.
The news about climate change and emission mitigation is coming so fast it’s piling up on itself. The kickoff of the UN’s Copenhagen conference seemed like a good day for the US Environmental Protection Agency to declare greenhouse gas emissions a threat to public health.

That and other news was highlighted in this week’s Energy Futures program with guests Dr. John Barnes, principal investigator for the Mauna Loa Observatory, and Dr. Kevin Hamilton, University of Hawaii professor of meteorology and interim director of the International Pacific Research Center.

Barnes (at right) described the work of the observatory since 1958 in measuring the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 11,155 above sea level on the volcano’s slope. Those measurements have seen CO2 increase from 315 ppm in 1958 to 387 ppm recently. Barnes noted that the rate of increase is increasing.

Hamilton’s climate modeling work suggests that the intensity of cyclones and hurricanes is likely to increase by at least 10 percent due to the warming of the sea and atmosphere as greenhouse gases accumulate. Combined with sea level rise, future storms could be all the more destructive when they crash into islands and coastal regions.

Yesterday’s Energy Futures program will be archived at the Hawaii Public Radio website later today and will be available there for the next month or more. Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST on Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and via HPR’s website with audio streaming.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pacific-Based Scientists To Discuss Copenhagen

Dr. Kevin Hamilton and Dr. John Barnes
The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference convenes on December 7th and will attract global attention to what some are calling the most important conversation in history.

Hawaii Public Radio’s Energy Futures program will again focus on the conference Monday afternoon from a mid-Pacific perspective. Guests on our program will be Dr. John Barnes, principal investigator for the Mauna Loa Observatory, and Dr. Kevin Hamilton, University of Hawaii professor of meteorology and interim director of the International Pacific Research Center.

Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST on Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and via HPR’s website with audio streaming. Listeners join the discussion with their comments and questions at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Burkett, Tollifson, Mikulina See Climate Imperatives

Monday's guests: Maxine Burkett, Jim Tollifson, Jeff Mikulina
Monday’s guests on Hawaii Public Radio’s Energy Futures program – while representing diverse community interests – nevertheless spoke as one regarding the necessity to halt climate change. Their island home requires it.

Our guests were Maxine Burkett, director of the Center on Island Climate Adaptation and Policy at the University of Hawaii; Jeff Mikulina, executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, and Jim Tollefson, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

Each expressed concern that Copenhagen’s Climate Change Conference beginning on December 7 may not reach agreements on future emission targets for the most prolific polluting nations – most especially the United States, China and India.

Sea levels already are rising and are guaranteed to continue that trend based on the amount of greenhouse gases that already are in the atmosphere and are certain to be there in future decades. That’s not good for island and coastal societies.

The program has been archived at HPR’s website. Energy Futures is broadcast “live” 5-6 pm HST on Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and via HPR’s website with audio streaming. Listeners join the discussion with their comments and questions at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Academia, Activism & Business Come Together on Energy Futures To Discuss Copenhagen Targets

Now we’re getting somewhere; the President has announced he’ll attend the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and is prepared to offer tentative targets for reducing US greenhouse gas emissions.

It should be good material for our next Energy Futures program on Hawaii Public Radio. Our guests will be Copenhagen delegate and presenter Maxine Burkett, director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy at the University of Hawaii law school; Jeff Mikulina, executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, and Jim Tollefson, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

You’re invited to tune in to the program, which airs “live” 5-6 pm HST Monday on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and via HPR’s website with audio streaming. Listeners can call in with their questions and comments at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

Next Generation Already Participating on Climate

James Koshiba and Carol Feinga were this week's guests.
Energy Futures joins the rest of the planet in directing our attention toward Copenhagen, Denmark, where the officially named Conference of Participants will attempt to hammer out an agreement among 192 nations to cut greenhouse gases in the decades ahead.

Our guests on our most recent program (11/23) were Carol Feinga from the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and James Koshiba of Kanu Hawaii. Our topic was educating the next generation(s) about the consequences of climate change and sea level riser. The program can be accessed at Hawaii Public Radio’s website.

Guests next week on Energy Futures will include Copenhagen delegate Maxine Burkett, director of the Center on Climate Adaptation and Policy at the University of Hawaii law school; Jeff Mikulina, executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, and Jim Tollefson, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. We’ll examine climate issues from our island perspective.

Energy Futures airs “live” 5-6 pm HST Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed at that time at HPR’s website. Listeners can call in with their questions and comments at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Will Next Generation Pursue Copenhagen’s Goals?

Hawaii has as much as any society hanging on the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, which convenes two weeks from tomorrow. Sea level rise assessments for this century range from 25 centimeters to a meter, and those are so-called “conservative” estimates.

Someone recently said sea level rise wouldn’t be a problem for Hawaii, since the state’s mean elevation is 3,035 feet. “We all can move to the Big Island,” he said – in jest. Obviously, anything approaching or exceeding a meter of rise will have profound effects on the islands’ population, most of whom either live or work in neighborhoods where even periodic high water incursion would be life-changing.

No matter what happens in Copenhagen, the current generation of grade school and junior high school students and those not yet born will have to live with the results. They’ll be the ones to carry the fight against climate change throughout this century.

They will, won’t they?

One would think so. The generation that’s convening in Copenhagen certainly expects that fight to continue long after they’re no longer on the scene. Energy Futures tomorrow will focus on what’s being done locally to prepare the younger generation for the effort their elders want them – actually, expect them – to pursue.

Our guests will be Carol Feinga from the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and James Koshiba of Kanu Hawaii. Both organizations have programs in place to instill a sense of ownership among young people for the century-long environmental issues they’ll face.

Energy Futures airs “live” 5-6 pm HST Mondays on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and is streamed at that time at Hawaii Public Radio’s website. Listeners can call in with their questions and comments at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dr. Stephen Schneider Returns as Show’s Guest


Dr. Stephen Schneider has answers for global warming deniers.

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July 19, 2010 Update: Dr. Stephen Schneider died this date in Europe. Our "Energy Futures" interview has been archived on the Internet.
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We can’t get enough of acclaimed climate scientist Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University and a member of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That's why we’re replaying our interview with him that originally aired on Hawaii Public Radio’s KIPO-FM on August 17. (Travel has necessitated some taped programs recently, but we’ll resume our live-in-the-studio shows on November 23.)

With the Copenhagen Climate Conference just weeks away, Schneider’s views are as timely as ever. Do yourself a favor and learn a thing or two you probably didn't already kinow by tuning in at 89.3 in Hawaii or use the streaming link on the Internet “live” at 5 pm HST Monday, November 16 (10 pm EST).

Monday, November 9, 2009

An Anniversary, a Birthday, and a Show on OTEC

We’re lagging behind in our posts here – the regrettable consequence of some travel, so we missed posting here about the November 2nd Energy Futures show on hydrogen as an energy source. The archived program can still be accessed for a few weeks.

But today’s show is something we’re compelled to write about, notwithstanding today being the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall to the irresistible force of democracy. (We have a personal enthusiasm for the anniversary, having been stationed in West Berlin in some of the coldest days of the Cold War in the 1960s.) And it’s also the birthday of our younger son, who became a teenager on that fateful day in 1989. Our world changed, indeed!

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion gets a full hour of discussion and hopeful speculation today on Energy Futures, Hawaii Public Radio’s weekly energy-focused program. Guests are Hans Krock and Gerhard Nihous, both affiliated with the University of Hawai`i and both long-time OTEC advocates, researchers and would-be developers.

It's the OTEC Hour, so please tune in 5-6 pm HST today on KIPO-FM, 89.3 in Hawaii; the show will be streamed live on the Internet and later archived at the same site as shown above.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday’s Energy Futures Show: Sea Level Rise

The inspiration for the Blue Line Project this weekend in Hawaii might well be Professor Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii. Fletcher studies sea level rise at home and around the Pacific and has had an impact on public consciousness with his computer-generated graphic. His computer program draws a blue line through Honolulu to show the high-water impacts. HPR’s Energy Futures program on Monday will feature Fletcher and Associate Professor of Law Maxine Burkett, who directs the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy at UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law. The show will be broadcast at 5 pm HST next Monday on KIPO-FM (89.3) and streamed at that hour on HPR’s website.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vega Heads Marine Renewable Energy Center

Dr. Luis Vega
Today’s guest on Energy Futures is Luis Vega, a veteran of numerous ocean energy programs and now the manager of the National Marine Renewable Energy Center at the University of Hawaii.

Hawaii Public Radio is in the midst of its fall pledge drive, so the show is a bit shorter than usual; it’s also recorded today, so there are no phone calls from listeners.

Tune in at 5 pm on KIPO (89.3 FM) or listen via the Internet as Luis Vega describes the Center’s mission and current activities to help ocean energy companies achieve their potential.

Monday, October 12, 2009

PUC Chair Takes The Calls, Walks the Talk, but 'Stromeinspeisungsgesetz’ Has Got To Go

Hawaii PUC Chairman Carlito Caliboso
Surprised we were when our invitation to Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chairman Carlito Caliboso to be a guest on Energy Futures was accepted. We’re not used to such accessibility at the PUC. Maybe it’s just a hold-over impression of the Commission from the ‘80s, when the panel seemed like the Wizard of Oz – safely obscured behind a curtain and never quite decipherable.

But that wasn’t the experience today in our weekly Energy Futures show. Caliboso was approachable, good-humored and forthcoming. He completely shattered our stereotype of a PUC commissioner, so the adage must be true: You never learn less.

Down with Stromeinspeisungsgesetz

Chairman Caliboso’s topic was the recent Feed-In Tariff Decision and Order by the commission. We started the program by noting how completely unacceptable the term “feed-in tariff” is. Meaningful though it may be to energy industry insiders, the hyphenated word means nothing to the average person, and the second word is misleading.

The literal translation of the German law regulating renewable energy contributions to the utility grid – Stromeinspeisungsgesetz – is “act of feeding into the grid,” but that’s no reason we have to live with the phrase. Our suggestion: Renewable Energy Pricing.

Caliboso took several calls from listeners as he explained the rationale behind the Renewable Energy Pricing D&O – to spur the expansion of renewable energy contributions to the islands’ electric grids and reduce Hawaii’s fossil fuel dependence. Today’s show was a rare opportunity for the average Joe and Lokelani to question the PUC Chair, and he acknowledged as much.

The next step in the Renewable Energy Pricing procedure is to set the rates the utilities will pay for photovoltaic, concentrated solar, onshore wind and in-line hydroelectric energy. These are the off-the-shelf technologies that can be brought on-line with relatively little hassle.

Today's show will be archived for a few weeks at Hawaii Public Radio's website, starting sometime Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Concentrated Solar Power Has Day in the Sun

Darren Kimura, president & CEO of Sopogy
We’re stretching and we know it, but the headline seems to fit the tone of this week’s Energy Futures program on Hawaii Public Radio. Our guest was Darren Kimura, long-time solar energy expert and currently the president and CEO of Sopogy, the local concentrated solar company.

Kimura gave a good overview of CSP’s potential and discussed some current projects his company has underway, including the array at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii on the Big Island and a two-year test of its solar air conditioning concept in Southern California. The show is archived at HPR's website.

CSP is one of the renewable technologies to be covered by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission’s feed-in tariff decision and order, which came to light last week. Energy Futures’ guest next week will be PUC Chairman Carlito Caliboso. As we noted on our Hawaii Energy Options blog, we think his guest appearance will produce calls from developers who may have more than a few questions about the Commission’s D&O. (The Honolulu Advertiser editorialized favorably about the D&O today.)

The numbers are 941-3689 on Oahu and toll-free from the neighbor islands and beyond, 1-877-941-3689. The show also is streamed on the Internet.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Listeners Stay Silent as Kauai Issues Are Aired

It’s a first – the absence of calls to Energy Futures on Monday’s program. True, Hawaii Public Radio has no repeater station on the island, and KIPO’s signal doesn’t exactly boom into Kauai. Maybe we need to clue in public radio supporters there to the “streaming audio” potential. What they may have missed on Monday is available now in HPR's website's archives section.

Guests Randy Hee, president of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, and economist Ken Stokes of The Kauaian Institute kept the discussion going on energy alternatives on Kauai as they and others work to reduce the island’s dependence on imported oil.

Alan Kennett, president of Gay & Robinson, also joined the program by telephone to discuss the sugar company’s intention to shut down cane production at the end of this fall’s harvest.

Up next on Energy Futures: Darren Kimura, president and chief executive officer of Sopogy Inc., will be on the October 5th show to discuss concentrated solar energy and its potential to create heat, solar air conditioning and electrical power.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kahuku Wind Farm Aiming for 2010 Operations

Two wind farms are slated for the hills above Kahuku on Oahu’s North Shore, and where do the calls to the Energy Futures show come from? Lanai. Go figure.

Maybe the lack of calls from the North Shore is testament to the community relations work being done by First Wind and West Wind Works, which intend to build farms of 30 and 25 megawatts respectively not far from Kahuku town.

Noelani Kalipi of First Wind said construction is slated for the spring if the company's permitting goes according to plan, with full operation anticipated by December 2010. West Wind Works’ Keith Avery also has hopes for a speedy resolution of its processes. (We forgot the camera, so there's no traditional in-studio photo at the top of this post.)

Today’s show will be archived by Tuesday afternoon at the Hawaii Public Radio website.

September 28th Show
We shift our sights from Oahu's North Shore to Kauai, which sometimes feels like the forgotten island when we start ticking off the energy initiatives around the state. Kauai is the only island not served by Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries. We'll interview Randy Hee, president of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, to see what a customer-owned utility is doing to replace fossil fuel generation with renewable sources. Our second guest will be Ken Stokes of The Kauaian Institute, which advocates sustainability measures for the Garden Isle.
Energy Futures airs "live" from 5-6 pm each Monday on KIPO-FM (89.3 on Oahu) and streamed on the Internet.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is NY Times Shadowing Energy Futures on HPR?

Has the Gray Old Lady been taking its cues from Energy Futures on Hawaii Public Radio? How else to explain the synchronicity of its coverage in today's paper with our program -- also today?

There’s probably another explanation, but we like that one. Our interview show with Hawaii County Councilman Pete Hoffmann (left) and County energy coordinator Will Rolston covered the range of major energy issues on the Big Island, as did the Times. We just did it in greater depth.

Check out the archived show on the HPR website for some insights you won’t find in the paper. It’ll be loaded by Tuesday afternoon.

Up next week: Noelani Kalipi of First Wind and Keith Avery of West Wind Works will be in the studio to discuss their wind farm plans for the Kahuku area on Oahu's North Shore. That's 5-6 pm Monday on KIPO-FM, 89.3 in Hawaii and streamed on the Internet.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big in Size and Energy – the Big Island of Hawaii

The Upolu Point wind farm on the island of Hawaii.
Monday’s Energy Futures show on Hawaii Public Radio takes a close look at the most energy-diverse island in the state: the island of Hawaii.

Guests will be County Council member Pete Hoffmann and County energy coordinator Will Rolston. We’ll examine potential expansion of wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable resources to see how far from the 100-percent renewable goal the island is today.

Join us 5-6 pm on KIPO-FM, 89.3 in Hawaii and streamed on the Internet.

Monday, September 7, 2009

State Energy Chief In Return Visit on Summit, Etc.

Ted Peck assumes his familiar spot in HPR's studio today.
Hawaii Energy Administrator Ted Peck stepped in at the last minute (literally) as today’s guest on Energy Futures in place of Renewable Energy Facilitator Josh Strickler, whose excuse was the birth of his daughter. Congratulations to the Strickler family, and our thanks to Peck for being on the show – the first repeat visitor in our two-month run so far.

The announced topic was last week’s Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu, but we covered several ranging from Hawaii’s remarkable decrease in gasoline use in June ’09 compared to a year earlier (down 36.3 percent!) to ocean thermal energy conversion, the planned inter-island cable to transmit wind power from Lanai and Molokai to Oahu, as well as others.

As usual, the program will be archived at Hawaii Public Radio’s website sometime on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labor Day! Now…Let’s Get Down to Work

We’re trying to dry up our overwhelming reliance on imported oil and coal in Hawaii and do it in a couple decades, so who’s got time for holidays?

Not Ted Peck, state energy administrator, our guest Monday on Hawaii Public Radio’s Energy Futures program. We’ll devote the hour to discussing – and taking calls about – last week’s Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit, which ran for four days in Waikiki, and the several renewable technologies that were on center stage.

Join us 5-6 pm on KIPO-FM, 89.3 and streamed on the Internet. The number to call with your comments and questions is 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 on the neighbor islands and beyond.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Odd Couple in Oil Addiction Fight: Algae and OTEC

Pat Takahashi and Andy Twomey after today's Energy Futures show.
Monday’s Energy Futures program on Hawaii Public Radio kicked off with a call from Ted Liu, director of the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism that’s hosting this week’s Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Expo and Summit.

With the Expo dominating energy news in the Aloha State this week, Energy Futures invited two participating companies to be on the show – Lockheed Martin and Phycal Hawaii. Lockheed, of course, has decades of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) experience, while Phycal is a start-up company with plans to harvest oil from algae as feedstock for liquid fuels, including eventually becoming a replacement for diesel and jet fuel.

Dr. Ted Johnson, the public face of Lockheed’s OTEC aspirations, was unable to be with us due to a prior commitment, so we talked with Lockheed program manager Robert Varley from his home in Virginia. When asked for a timeline for Lockheed’s proposed pilot OTEC plant here, Rob said a 10-MW plant could up operational by 2016 – assuming relatively early funding.

Phycal Hawaii was represented by President Andrew Twomey, a returning Hawaii resident; earlier this decade he commanded a brigade of the 25th infantry Division at Schofield Barracks. His company intends to start operations with a 40-acre facility to produce 100,000 gallons of algae oil for proof-of-concept before expanding to fill a need to replace diesel and jet fuel at a competitive price.

Former Hawaii Natural Energy Institute director Pat Takahashi joined us in the studio as a “guest questioner,” and as usual, we were better informed thanks to Pat’s involvement. Monday's show will be archived at Hawaii Public Radio sometime on Tuesday, September 1.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Flip Off Switch and Replace the Power Clunker; Conservation Seen as Fastest Way To Get Off Oil

SAIC's Michael Chang and Ray Starling in HPR's studio today.
The fastest way to reduce Hawaii’s oil dependence isn’t through renewable energy development; it’s through energy conservation, according to Ray Starling and Michael Chang, managers of the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program.

They were our guests on Energy Futures today on Hawaii Public Radio, and although Starling and Chang are supporters of home-grown energy, they touted good old energy efficiency as the quickest way to make a significant difference in cutting off our oil umbilical.

Their energy efficiency program's website is still in development as Science Applications International Corporation eases into the program’s management, which began on July 1. If you missed today’s “live” broadcast, you can catch the archived version at HPR’s website starting sometime on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SAIC Takes On Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program

SAIC's Ray Starling will discuss Hawaii's energy efficiency program.
Next Monday’s Energy Futures show on Hawaii Public Radio (8/24) will provide an in-depth look at the new manager’s plans for the program that’s supposed to help guide Hawaii to a clean energy future.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) assumed responsibility for the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program from Hawaiian Electric Company on July 1. SAIC won the contract to run the efficiency program after the State Legislature determined an independent third party would be a more appropriate administrator than the electric utility.

SAIC’s Ray Starling will be our guest on Energy Futures to outline the program, which includes rebates for energy efficiency initiatives among utility customers. The show will be broadcast at 5 pm Monday August 24 on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and streamed on the Internet. We'll take your calls at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands.

If you missed our August 17th show and the interview with Dr. Stephen Schneider of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, you can listen to the archived show at HPR’s website. Schneider’s one-hour stream of consciousness on climate change and global warming is sure to fill at least one puka in your knowledge base on these important issues.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nobel Prize Winner is Monday’s Radio Guest

Dr. Stephen Schneider shared the Nobel Prize with IPCC colleagues.
Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University will discuss global warming and its implications for Hawaii in Monday's Energy Futures program. Dr. Schneider is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that, along with Al Gore, won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

(The show was broadcast on Monday August 17 on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii), and the archived version can be accessed on the Internet. Dr. Schneider died on July 19, 2010.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Callers Ask, Get Answers from Solar Energy Experts

Riley Saito (left) of SunPower and Mark Duda of Distributed Energy Partners.
Our Energy Futures program on Hawaii Public Radio is only six weeks into its run, so we don’t know whether today's 11 phone calls are anything to write (home) about. But it was the most we’ve had so far, and that undoubtedly had to do with the subject – solar energy.

Hawaii could be the solar energy capital of the country, or maybe that’s “should be” in light of our 270 days of sunshine on average, depending on where you live – windward, leeward, shadeward, sunward….

Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association and a principal of Distributed Energy Partners, and Riley Saito, senior projects manager in Hawaii for SunPower Corporation, fielded the questions and gave our listeners more info than they’re likely to extract from the daily media. The program will be archived at HPR's website sometime on 8/11.

That’s our loosely held goal for the program – to provide a conversation on energy-related issues in Hawaii that encompasses the listening audience. It seemed to work today.

Next Week, No Calls

We’ve recorded a program with Dr. Stephen Schneider, member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former Vice President Al Gore. He’s our first and only Nobel Laureate, and we can only hope for more.

Dr. Schneider will discuss global warming, climate change, implications for Hawaii and other critical issues that affect all of us – including generations yet unborn. The show will be broadcast at 5 pm Monday August 17 on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and streamed on the Internet.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Next Energy Futures Show Switches on Solar Power


Energy Futures, Hawaii Public Radio’s weekly energy-focused interview and call-in program, welcomes two leaders of the local solar energy industry on Monday – Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, and Riley Saito, senior manager of Hawaii projects for SunPower Corporation.

They’ll answer questions and take calls from listeners about recent developments that make the solar option more affordable than ever in Hawaii. We’ll also ask Saito for an update on the state’s largest solar farm, which SunPower installed on Lanai for Castle & Cooke.

Tune in Monday from 5 to 6 pm on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and streamed on the Internet. Call the show from Oahu at 941-3689 and toll-free on the Neighbor Islands, 1-877-941-3689.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hawaiians Have Power to Initiate Geothermal Talks

Puna Geothermal Venture's Mike Kaleikini after today's show.
Today’s Energy Futures program on Hawaii Public Radio gave even more attention to the issue of geothermal expansion in the islands to reduce the state’s dependence on imported oil. We felt the issue deserved additional exposure after last week’s show, which included strong opposition to geothermal energy by at least one of the Native Hawaiian guests on the program.

Today’s guests also are Native Hawaiians – State Senator Kalani English, who lives in Hana, Maui and is vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, and Puna Geothermal Venture power plant manager Michael Kaleikini.

Our headline today tries to capture what we thought was the most significant comment during the show. Senator English suggested, as he has in a video posted on YouTube, that the Native Hawaiian community has the ability to advance discussions on geothermal energy development in the islands and thereby assert a fair amount of “power” (our word) in shaping the geothermal debate.

English – and Kaleikini, of course – see geothermal energy as a gift of the Pele deity, not a defiler of the volcano goddess in Hawaiian religion. We’ll let the listener decide how this all played out when the show’s audio is archived on the HPR website sometime on August 4th.

Next Week

Our focus will shift to solar energy in the August 10th edition of Energy Futures. Guests Mark Duda of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association and Riley Saito of SunPower, the company that has installed the state’s largest solar farm on Lanai, will answer listeners’ questions about recent legislation that favors solar installation from 5-6 pm on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and streamed on the Internet.

What Future Does Geothermal Energy Have in Isles?

Sen. Kalani English and Michael Kaleikini
We continue our discussion on geothermal energy on today’s Energy Futures program on Hawaii Public Radio. We heard last week that some in the Native Hawaiian community steadfastly object to its presence on the Big Island, home of one of their religion’s deities – volcano goddess Pele.

Increased geothermal production above the 30 megawatts from the existing plant will only happen after considerable dialogue within the entire community, including among Native Hawaiians who don’t share the views expressed last week.

One of them is native Hawaiian Michael Kaleikini, plant manager for Puna Geothermal Venture. He’ll be with us in the studio for today’s Energy Futures show, and he’ll be joined by State Senator Kalani English, also of part-Hawaiian ancestry. English is vice chair of the Energy and Environment Committee.

Today’s show will be “live” on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and also streamed on the Internet at 5 pm HST (11 pm EDT).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dialogue Missing with Native Hawaiians re Energy

Ramsay Taum in HPR's studios for Energy Futures show.
Renewable energy developers who see great opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands had best prepare themselves to sit down with the Hawaiians. That’s the takeaway from today’s Energy Futures show on Hawaii Public Radio (archived here).

Quietly and without emotion, guests Davianna McGregor and Ramsay Taum made it clear it’s time to invite representatives of the host culture to a seat at the table. Too often discussions about developing Hawaii’s clean energy resources fail to include Native Hawaiians or accommodate their religious beliefs, they said.

We asked whether any dialogue exists between Native Hawaiians and Hawaii state government officials on these development issues and were surprised when McGregor, who joined the program from her home on Molokai, simply said "no." It’s hard to see how progress can be made without such a conversation in light of the opposition to some forms of energy development.

No on Geothermal Energy

The renewable technology that results in the proverbial line in the sand is geothermal energy. McGregor touched on some of the same themes she articulated at the Sakamaki Extraordinary Lecture Series panel discussion last month. Geothermal energy exploration and development appears to be a non-starter for her and those in the Pele Defense Fund whom she represents.

Ocean and wind energy developers appear to have an easier path ahead based on comments in this show. McGregor’s concerns were more focused on ensuring environmental protection as those technologies are developed. Pele, the volcano goddess of the Native Hawaiian religion, is untouchable according to McGregor, but the deities of the wind and ocean were not mentioned in the same vein. (The archived file of this program can be found at the HPR website.)

Next Week

We’ll keep the focus on geothermal energy next week with guests Michael Kaleikini of Puna Geothermal Ventures and Senator Kalani English, vice chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, as we discuss what seems to be an irresolvable issue – the hope of geothermal energy adherents to expand the resource in the face of opposition by Native Hawaiian religion practitioners.

The August 3rd program will be “live” on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and also streamed on the Internet at 5 pm HST (11 pm EDT).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Next: Native Hawaiian Views on Renewable Energy

There is no single Native Hawaiian perspective on renewable energy development in Hawaii, of course, and there are probably as many views as there are members of the group. A much smaller sampling proved that point when a panel of several Native Hawaiians addressed this very issue in one of the Sakamaki Extraordinary Lecture Series events last month.

Davianna McGregor, one of our guests on Monday’s Energy Futures, represented the view of the Pele Defense Fund's membership that geothermal energy is not a renewable resource for reasons we anticipate she’ll cover on Monday’s program. Ramsay Taum, our second guest, moderated the Sakamaki panel discussion and had a somewhat different perspective.

Both are well-known and highly respected members of both the Native Hawaiian and larger communities, and the discussion is likely to be thought-provoking -- especially for those who endorse aggressive development of Hawaii’s renewable energy resources.

The show will be “live” on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and also streamed on the Internet at 5 pm HST (11 pm EDT).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Knowing Where To Start in Cutting GHG Emissions

University of Hawaii economics professor Dr. Denise Konan
Dr. Denise Konan was the Energy Futures guest today and gave a preview of her Wednesday evening presentation at the University. A point made during today’s show was how truly tiny the renewable energy contribution is compared to to the totality of the state’s energy use. (This and other public affairs programs on Hawaii Public Radio are archived at HPR's website.)

The demand for aviation fuel – and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transporting tourists to, from and between the Hawaiian Islands, as well as resident air travel – is off the charts. A revolution in energy use must occur to achieve Hawaii’s target of reducing GHG pollution to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Dr. Konan lecture is part of the Sakamaki Extraordinary Lecture Series, sponsored by the University of Hawaii’s Outreach College.

Next week’s Energy Futures show will examine Native Hawaiian Perspectives on Renewable Energy and is an outgrowth of another Sakamaki event – a panel discussion with the same title last month. Our sister blog – Hawaii Energy Options – has a post that sets the stage for next Monday’s show on Hawaii Public Radio.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Monday’s Show: Hawaii’s Biggest GHG Footprints

If Hawaii hopes to control its greenhouse gas emissions, knowing who’s laying down the carbon footprints is a must. Energy Futures will look at the who of it on Monday, July 20th when University of Hawaii economics professor Dr. Denise Konan is our guest.

Dr.Konan (pictured) will be on the show two days before delivering one of the Sakamaki Extraordinary Lecture Series presentations Wednesday evening at the University of Hawaii, sponsored by UH’s Outreach College. She’ll report the findings of her study in a lecture titled “Energy and Greenhouse Gas Solutions for Hawaii’s Economy.

Energy Futures will preview the study and search for insights when we talk with Dr. Konan, “live” at 5 pm HST (11 pm EDT) on KIPO-FM (89.3 in Hawaii) and also streamed on the Internet. We'll take your calls at 941-3689 on Oahu and 1-877-941-3689 from the neighbor islands and beyond.

Looking ahead to July 27th: Energy Futures' topic will be "Native Hawaiian Perspectives on Renewable Energy" with guests Davianna McGregor and Ramsay Taum.