What Russia’s Ukraine Invasion Tells Us About Hawaii’s Resiliency (or lack thereof)

Improve energy efficiency

  • Increased community and small business education on various strategies to reduce energy waste.
  • Increased funding and marketing of Hawaii Energy’s energy efficiency rebate programs.

Increase investment in local food production

  • Growing food year-round is an option in Hawaii, but most homes and businesses don’t take advantage of our climate to do this. State and county governments should offer tax incentives, such as tax credits for specific investments, for growing our food locally (at homes and businesses) to make this practice more widespread.
  • We suggest that the county or state offer land on cheap leasing terms for developing high-yield vertical agriculture operations or similar agricultural options. This new technology can provide large amounts of food with a very low footprint and no pesticides.

Accelerate Renewable Energy

  • Urge the Public Utilities Commission and HECO to find ways to jump start rooftop solar power and onsite battery storage, which has grown at a significantly slower rate since net metering was ended a few years ago. Expanding the “battery bonus” rebate program, which currently applies only to Oahu, to all the major islands, is one good option. And putting in place a state-level battery storage tax credit, which will require legislation, is another good option. Any new programs for accelerating solar and storage should include protections against rate increases for lower-income households.
  • Accelerate permitting processes for renewable energy systems, including those that allow for equitable adoption of renewable energy, e.g., community solar and general decarbonization of grid energy. Community solar is particularly important because of its potential in helping renters and those who don’t own a home to “go solar” by investing in community solar projects.
  • Fund additional research and development of geothermal, hydroelectric, and waste gas power generation.

Accelerate Clean Transportation

  • Reducing vehicle miles traveled through smart city planning, bike lanes, more walking paths, etc., is a key way to clean up transportation and make us more resilient and healthy.
  • Dramatically ramp up installation of public chargers — and ensure their continued maintenance and operation over time.
  • This year, a bill was proposed that would revive the expired state EV rebate for moderate and low-income households, but, unfortunately, it did not make it into law. With strong public support, it could get through next year.

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Tam Hunt

Tam Hunt

Public policy, green energy, climate change, technology, law, philosophy, biology, evolution, physics, cosmology, foreign policy, futurism, spirituality