Harnessing Renewable Energy Sources to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Molokai, Hawaii

Geothermal energy is an energy source with low carbon emissions, since it does not generate greenhouse gases and, as a steam-based resource, it typically provides the same. Bob and Kelly King, founders of Pacific Biodiesel, are demonstrating a community model of sustainable agriculture, renewable fuels and food that is helping Hawaii reach a future with clean energy. A report has warned of competition with agriculture, residential and commercial development, and the deployment of renewable energy. Hydrogen production can be programmed to take advantage of excess renewable energy that would otherwise be wasted (reduced); likewise, the use of hydrogen to generate electricity can be programmed to meet peak electricity demands. The debate over the development of offshore wind energy has focused on projects related to Oahu, since Oahu has the largest population, the highest electricity consumption, and limited land space for renewable energy development. Increasing energy efficiency and reducing overall energy demand are essential steps to achieve net emission reductions, but stopping the use of fossil fuels will significantly increase the need to generate electricity, according to the study.

In many cases, including the Western Kauaʻi energy project in Kauaʻi, solar energy is used to pump water “upstream” from the lower reservoir to the upper one, making these installations 100% renewable. The State Energy Office is conducting its own state economic study on what Hawaii must do to meet its emissions targets for 2030 and 2045. Hawaii is undergoing a major transformation from a state that was almost entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels to one that runs on clean, renewable energy. In partnership with the Hawaii National Marine Renewable Energy Center, connected to the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and the University of Hawaii, wave buoy manufacturers can test the performance of their wave buoy designs. Batteries that store excess renewable energy and are discharged when that energy is unavailable extend utility and improve the predictable availability of renewable sources. Renewable natural gas (RNG), also known as biogas, is a form of gaseous energy created from the decay of organic matter such as biosolids from wastewater, food waste or animal manure under anaerobic conditions or under conditions without oxygen.

Catherine Geml
Catherine Geml

Extreme bacon specialist. Proud food specialist. Freelance travel nerd. Lifelong web practitioner. Hipster-friendly food advocate. Freelance social media scholar.

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