by Andrew Walden
According to the PUC, Hawaii electric rates are up 229% due to the clean energy initiative. But its all worth it because in the end Hawaii will no longer rely on 'fossil fuels.' Right?
In 2009--the first full year of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative--HECO trumpeted the opening of Campbell Industrial Park Combustion Turbine 1--a 110MW 'peaker plant' powered by 100% biofuel.
Now HECO is adding a 'second' biofuel plant--50MW powered by a biofuel-diesel blend--to be built at Schofield barracks. Schofield is tied for second-largest of the projects on the Hawaii Clean Energy Leaderboard.
Here's the trick. The 'second' biofuel plant will soon be the 'only' biofuel plant. When Schofield is brought on line, the Campbell plant--more than twice as large as Schofield--will be quietly converted to run on diesel fuel.
Biofuel is just like diesel except it relies on bulldozed rainforest and stolen tribal lands to 'sustain' its production. It also costs more. Design-wise, biofuel plants are just like diesel plants.
Under HCEI, HECO is continuing its normal plan of building more diesel generating plants by pretending to build biofuel plants. As each new plant is successively brought on line, it is labeled 'biofuel powered' and the previous biofuel plant is converted to run on diesel.
But isn't Hawaii supposed to go 100%-renewable?
Another trick -- 100% Does not Really Mean 100%.
It's not all bad. Hawaii ratepayers are paying 229% more for this scam, but that is probably far less than we would be paying if HECO actually started switching diesel plants over to biofuel en masse. By deceiving us, HECO is saving the rainforest. And somewhere on Borneo, a tribe has not been dispossessed.
Since 2008, Hawaii is one of only eight states to increase its CO2 output. The other 42 states have sharply reduced CO2 by switching to cheap and abundant American-produced natural gas.
In August, Governor Ige came out against LNG, saying: "It’s time to focus all our efforts on renewables.”
Yeah. Let's get the next biofuel plant built so we can switch Schofield to diesel.