By Todd Simmons
...An analysis unveiled by the Ulupono Initiative later in the conference’s opening session looked at costs associated with various forms and mixes of energy – oil, diesel and LNG. The analysis also included scenarios in which renewables are used in limited or great quantities. The analysis suggested that maximization of low-cost renewable energy sources with possible inclusion of LNG might present the most economically attractive way forward for Hawaii’s energy economy.
But Ulupono Managing Partner Murray Clay, who presented the research, stressed that it only took into account the current and historic economics of LNG. Ige’s position is affected by additional concerns around siting, LNG’s nature as a fossil fuel and the distraction it potentially represents from moving toward renewable sources — worthy considerations, all, said Clay.
“Even if LNG makes good economic sense right now, it might take years to be able to site” the necessary LNG infrastructure, said Clay. Such other considerations “might postpone any benefit of LNG for many more years to come. So part of the governor’s argument is, ‘Why not put all that effort and money into renewables, and go that route instead?'”