Will Hawaii Meet its Mandate to be on Totally Renewable Energy by 2045?

The answer to this question was recently addressed by the first ever VERGE HAWAII Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu this past summer.

Presented by GreenBiz – a non-profit organization based in the Bay area that brings technology, innovation, and sustainability together in convergent assemblies around the globe – and hosted by the Hawaii State Energy Office, this 2-day conference brought many of the stakeholders to the table to discuss this important issue.

More than 140 speakers across the energy, buildings, transportation, agriculture, and water sectors met in interactive workshops focusing on big, transformational ideas and grounding them in reality – bringing out the practical, scalable opportunities that resulted.

Elaine Hsieh, VERGE Program Director and Senior Analyst with GreenBiz, along with Danny Kelly, Creative Director of Stage/Program, put on a fast-paced, smart, and interactive 2-day event that was packed with timely information, and great take-aways.

I must say, I went into the event not feeling very positive about this audacious goal mandated by Governor Ige, however, left feeling very encouraged that, with the positive momentum and buy in already committed to by all sectors of our economy, this really is possible.

What’s the Biggest Challenge?

The biggest challenges facing us are antiquated, large infrastructure systems for energy distribution, i.e., electricity, and water, that are wasteful and cannot support us into the future. Additionally, our 95% dependency on fossil fuel driven energy and transportation systems.

Distributed Energy Storage Systems is one answer for the future whereby customer-sited storage is a powerful resource that delivers reliable services to the grid while helping customers understand and transform their energy use. By storing energy during off-peak hours for use during expensive peak hours, organizations can slash their energy costs without reduction in electrical usage to achieve savings.

The Microgrid illuminates the potential for distributed energy and smart systems as a standalone, reliable, and cost-effective power resource. Community microgrids are poised for near future to interlock and replace existing outdated infrastructure.

The Accelerator Showcase brought entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their solutions to the conference attendees. All Power Labs took home the winning prize with its mobile power plants that produce affordable, on-demand, carbon-negative renewable energy using agricultural waste, such as wood chips, nut shells, and corn cobs.

How Can We Be Future-Ready Now?

Come to the second annual VERGE HAWAII Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in June (2017) at The Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu and find out!

Sarah Bakewell, R(B)-20988
Director of Corporate Services

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