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Discarded Fishing Nets help Hawaii attain its Energy Goal

Transforming Discarded Nets Into Energy

Everyone and anyone who has ever taken a walk along Hawaii’s beautiful shorelines has come across discarded fishing nets washed up by the tides.  What many don’t realize is that the vast majority of these nets originate thousands of miles from Hawaii!

Until fairly recently, they have just been an eye sore and environmental hazard, but now, they are being transformed into electricity that helps to power Honolulu’s energy needs.  While they may not make up much of the fuel burned daily, it is a smart, clean way to help rid the islands of this problem.

CNN recently filed this video report on the problem and solution.  Click on the link to view it.

CNN Report on Transforming discarded fishing nets into energy.

70% Renewable Energy Goal by 2030

You may or may not be aware that Hawaii has established an admirable and aggressive state-wide goal of 70% of its energy needs coming from renewable sources by the year 2030.  As the CNN video reported, the burning of trash provides up to 10% of the state’s energy needs.

Obviously, wind and solar energy will also be a big part of the solution to meeting this goal.  Bio-mass burning has also been providing energy for quite some time now, including the burning of sugar cane baggasse (the plant material left over once the sugar is extracted) on Maui.

HC&S has been burning bagasse for decades to generate  electricity.   HC&S burns 500,000 tons of bagasse a year, which produces energy equivalent to 500,000 barrels of oil.  This not only provides for all of their energy needs, but also provides 7-8% of all the power used on Maui, which is distributed by Maui Electric.  That not only provides energy, but also helps to keep the litter problem under control as well.

Wind power has been the focus in recent years and with each new wind farm proposed, there comes the protests from local residents and environmentalists, who are at odds with their goal of conserving natural resources and intruding upon local plants, wildlife, and cultural sites.  That problem is not unique to Hawaii.

Everybody supports the idea of wind and solar energy providing renewable energy, but just as universally, just about everyone wants it generated somewhere other than in their neighborhood.  (Likewise, nobody likes the traffic and pollution all that traffic generates, but support of the mass transit rail system has been opposed since the idea first surfaced over a decade ago.)

What cost are we willing to pay for progress towards a cleaner environment?


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