Graphic by Emily Metcalf
Graphic by Emily Metcalf

REPORT FROM HAWAII COUNTY – HILO, HAWAII – The Geothermal Working Group, with the support of Hawai`i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, will present the final draft of the Geothermal Working Group Report on Wednesday, January 4, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.  The press conference will be held at the County building on the Mayor’s lanai at 25 Aupuni St., second floor.

The report was sponsored by the County of Hawai‘i to evaluate geothermal energy as the primary source of baseload power for electricity on the Island of Hawai‘i.  The report includes an analysis of technical data and expert testimony providing convincing rationale to develop local renewable energy plants and transition away from the county’s dependence on petroleum-fueled generators for baseload electricity.  The report, which is currently being circulated within Hawai`i’s State Legislation, was developed as research to help support Hawai`i’s Clean Energy Initiative goals.

Geothermal Working Group Co-Chair Wally Ishibashi, will present the report in detail, with supportive comments presented by Mayor Kenoi.  Geothermal Working Group Co-Chair Richard Ha will discuss the important issues surrounding peak oil and its relevance to Hawai`i Island.  Ha recently traveled to Iceland where he observed how the country recovered from the biggest financial crash in modern history.  Ha stated, “They are recovering because they inoculated themselves from high oil prices by using low cost hydro and geothermal for 100 percent of their electricity and house heating.  It is clear to me that had they used expensive biofuel to generate electricity, they would not be competitive in making aluminum for export.  And instead of coming out of this disastrous financial situation, they would be facing years of depression.  This is exactly why Hawai‘i should not be using expensive biofuels to make electricity when we have low-cost geothermal.”

Ha was also sponsored by the County of Hawai‘i to attend this year’s Association for the Study of Peak Oil Conference, which took place this past October in Washington, DC, and will present his findings at the press conference.

For a full copy of the Geothermal Energy Working Group – Interim Report, please go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/research-and-development

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