In just a few years, the travelers’ paradise of Hawaii may be filled with hydrogen cars and buses zipping around the tropical islands. Recent renewable energy legislation authored by Governor Linda Lingle calls for Hawaii to give up its addiction to fossil fuels (77-percent of Oahu is powered by burning oil) and start using hydrogen, solar and wind energy instead.
According to the Star Bulletin, “As part of an overall strategy to reduce the state’s dependence on imported oil, Hawaii lawmakers are aiming to set up the islands as a model hydrogen-based economy in the United States. Initiatives passed by the Legislature and signed recently by Gov. Linda Lingle would establish the Hawaii Renewable Hydrogen Program and set up an investment capital special fund with $10 million in state money. Because hydrogen fuel can be created by renewable energy sources such as wind, wave and solar power, supporters say Hawaii is the ideal testing ground.”
Hawaii produces no oil of its own and has to import it from 2,000 – 3,000 miles away primarily from Asia and South America. Critics of the proposal point out all of the current shortcomings of renewable energy as if the current technology will somehow fail to advance from this point forward. Proponents, however, know that the shortcomings can be overcome with research, development and financial backing.
Because of Hawaii’s natural resources of wind, solar and tidal flow, it makes perfect sense to use these abundant resources in order to cut down the importation of oil. And, its not like this is a new idea. Hawaiians have been thinking about this for years. Finally, they are getting the legislative backing to start realizing that hydrogen and other renewable energy resources are the future.
For more information see Hydrogen Hawaii and Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.