Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hawaii leading the energy revolution?

What? I know. But yes, it looks like it may. If this idea works.

Check it out, here, here and here.


Mr. Pony said...

Well, that's pretty neat, if we can make it happen. Hawaii was one of the first markets to get cable TV, too. And Crystal Pepsi, I think. It's too bad the company facilitating this is named after the place pets go when they die.

Things are looking up. I hear also that the electric utilities in Hawaii are undergoing something called decoupling, where there revenues aren't tied to how much electricity they sell, freeing them up to concentrate on the real issues, of load, distribution, and service (oh, and also not filling the atmosphere with carbon).

What's exciting is that there seem to be real economic benefits to these choices, which is the only thing that is going to make them happen. As Jim Raynor said in Starcraft, it's the Economy, stupid.

Demon said...

I wonder-will this plan assuage Fugu Père's fears enough to sell his Big Island demesne and stay on O`ahu?

Fugu said...

I would like to counter Lingle's plan to save Hawaii with electric cars with the following from Bill Maher's Religulous, while talking to Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkensas about his creationism and Bible campaign ads:

Maher: It worries me that people are running my country who believe in a talking snake.

Senator Mark Pryor: You don't have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate, though.


[About 5 seconds later Sen. Pryor gets a very embarrassed and retarded look on his face]

What I don't get is this. In the same article, it clearly states the following:
1. Lingle wants to switch to electric cars to reduce our dependancy on oil.

2. Oil is the source of more than 75% of our electricity. (another article says over 90% of our energy needs).


What she's asking to do is effectively adding a middle man to power our vehicles. Instead of petroleum-->gas tank, it's now petroleum-->electricity-->battery. I'm not sure what efficiency is lost, but I'm really sure you didn't gain any. This is the same problem with talk of hydrogen fuel cells. It's just a battery--it doesn't generate anything just stores energy, so the power is still coming from, mostly, oil. There's no point in talking about electric cars or fuel cells or whatever in Hawaii until we solve the problem of where that electricity is coming from in the first place.

Okay to be fair, they do state that in order to reach the 2030 deadline we have to find more local renewable resources. ...oh, great. okay.

"Despite challenges, the Better Place model is promising, said Daniel M. Kammen, a professor in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. It could appeal to owners of fleets of vehicles and to early adopter customers who are willing to work through the difficulties that will inevitably accompany a new transportation system."

I'm guessing that professor Kammen is talking aboud adapting this nation wide, not specifically to Hawaii, since by early adopters he would have to mean Lingle, and fleet vehicles he would mean Hawaii State Tax Dollars?

Galspanic said...'s Arkansas. And I believe dependency.

I thought the whole point of the hydrogen cell was that Hawaii was going to produce hydrogen here, thus eliminating the need for the whole- well what do I know, I'm a drawering type guy.
Are the boats which will be shipping the hydrogen to Hawaii going to be outfitted with hydrogen cell powered engines?

Fugu said...


Fugu said...

I've just talked to hands-down the most comprehensive and brilliant of the three writers, and apparently I'm wrong on a whole number of points. Firstly, the Better Place people are focusing a large part of their efforts on making sure that the energy sources that will power their cars will not be oil but wind power, as pretty much specifically stated if I had diligently read all the way through more than just the first article. For example, it is also specifically mentioned that Lingle hopes to not spend any of our money to set this up. This is another important point that I apparently glossed over while, I don't know, standing on my head while browsing the internet, which I am prone to do.

Galspanic said...

There's a technique that we learned from feeding babies that might help you Fuge; it's called "Count to ten, and try again."

Galspanic said...

Anyone ever hear of the plan to destroy trash with a giant arc of electricity? What happened to that idea? I loved that idea!

odori said...

I didn't know we were the first to get Crystal Pepsi...

One thing I'm worried about is whether we can safely and reliably get the raw materials to the many batteries needed for this miracle oil addiction cure.

I was wondering about lithium shortages (apparently the world's biggest lithium reserves are in Tibet!), but sourcing cobalt could also be a problem.

NRP says: "A rush to build electric cars could also mean a rush to get minerals that are produced in unstable parts of the world. Lithium-ion batteries require large amounts of cobalt, which comes primarily from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Tibet and Siberia. Easing dependence on foreign oil could mean increasing dependence on foreign minerals — from even less reliable trading partners than the Persian Gulf states."

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough forewarning of the Lingle/Better Place/Hawaiian Electric announcement to think of these questions BEFORE the press conference. Very frustrating.

npr story link:

info on the batteries better place wants to use:

lithium, china and tibet:

Mr. Pony said...

Generators that burn fossil fuels can't just spin down at night. If I understand this right, they have to generate the same amount of electricity 24 hours a day as they do during the moments of their peak load. The batteries provide a place to store this excess electricity. (This "waste" electricity is usually wrapped up in napkins and buried like trash.)