U.S., Hawaii partner to advance renewables including ocean

The U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Hawaii have formed the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to develop the state’s renewable energy resources, including ocean energy.

The DOE-Hawaii partnership is to help shift the state’s energy system from one fueled primarily by oil to one powered primarily by renewables. Currently, imported fossil fuels meet more than 90 percent of Hawaii’s energy needs.

DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner and Gov. Linda Lingle signed a long-term agreement establishing the partnership on Jan. 28. The partnership is expected to help Hawaii meet its goal of using renewable resources such as ocean, wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy to meet 70 percent or more of its energy needs by 2030.

�Hawaii’s success will serve as an integrated model and demonstration test bed for the U.S. and other island communities globally, many of which are just beginning the transition to a clean energy economy,� Karsner said.

Governor welcomes Oceanlinx wave project

In a Feb. 4 news conference, Lingle welcomed the development of a 2.7-MW wave energy project off Maui by Oceanlinx Ltd. Oceanlinx signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the project in October 2007. (HNN 12/6/07)

“This innovative and environmentally based wave energy project is an ideal example of using Hawaii’s abundant natural sources of energy to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuel and increase our energy security,” the governor said.

Oceanlinx is developing three floating wave generator platforms less than a mile off Pauwela Point on the northeast coast of Maui. The project is to supply power to the Maui Electric Co. transmission grid. Media reports said Hawaii lawmakers introduced legislation for $20 million in special purpose revenue bonds to help finance the project.

The United States Navy also is supporting wave energy development in Hawaii. Developer Ocean Power Technologies Inc. previously announced the Navy paid $1.9 million for an ongoing contract to deploy wave energy units off the shore of a U.S. Marine base in Hawaii. (HNN 10/5/07)

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