Hawaii poised for 100% sustainability once geothermal energy is tapped

Hawaii poised for 100% sustainability once geothermal energy is tapped

January 9, 2012 0 By Stephen Vagus

Hawaii lies nestled in one of the most seismically active regions of the world. It lies in the heart of the so called “Ring of Fire,” a literal, massive ring surrounding the Pacific Ocean region where tectonic plates separate.

The Ring of Fire is notorious for producing a multitude of major geologic events, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, but it is also the world’s largest source of geothermal energy. Much of the energy remains untapped, often due to the difficulties in harvesting the power underwater. In Hawaii, however, geothermal energy could help the state attain 100% sustainability.

At a recent government-sponsored conference in Hilo, Hawaii, the Hawaii County Geothermal Working Group released the results of a new report concerning the geothermal resources of the state. The report notes that there is enough geothermal potential in the state to push it over the point of complete sustainability when combined with wind, solar and hydrogen power. The current power demand in Hawaii is between 90 and 185 megawatts annually.

The report suggests that in utilizing geothermal energy, Hawaii could be generating more than 700 megawatts of electricity each year.

This is good news for the state as it currently pays a fortune in shipping oil and other fuels from the mainland. If the state were to become fully energy sustainable and independent, it would be saving millions of dollars a year and energy costs, which could then be used to further progress alternative energy projects and stimulate the economy.