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.