Archive for December, 2014

6 December

India’s Answer to Rachel Maddow’s Comment on the Sunshine State

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Rachel Maddow's Comment on the "Where The Sun Don't Shine"

Rachel Maddow’s Comment on the “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”

This weekend, some of our friends have been sending me clip of a Rachel Maddow’s piece on “Where The Sun Don’t Shine”, commenting on Florida state legislators’  measures. Below (italics) is part of the transcript of Rachel Maddow’s piece on “Where The Sun Don’t Shine” that I would like to address:

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Florida, is, technically speaking, the Sunshine State. That is their official state nickname and they do not mean it as a metaphor. They meant it as a founding principle, a main  attraction of what Florida is. The Florida Department of Citrus has a new branded Avengers Character called Captain Citrus. Captain Citrus runs on Solar Power. The circle on his hands are solar pods. Maybe it’s my solar pods but you’re going down. Florida is so much the Sunshine State  that the whole ad campaign for the city of Ft. Lauderdale is called “Find Your Sunny” and you can find Ft. Lauderdale at sunny.org  Explore your sunny side in Sunshine State. So now naturally because it’s  Florida that Florida has declared war on the Sun, even if it still wants to be known as the Sunshine State. This past week, very quietly, just before Thanksgiving, Florida, incredibly, decided to try to kill solar power in the state of Florida, they voted to kill entirely the solar rebate program in the state for installing solar panels. At the same time they told the state power companies that they can basically stop their efforts to conserve energy. Maddow then proceeded to show the decrease in Florida’s goal for energy conservation, below (between 2009 and 2014)

Rachel Maddow's chart on FL conservation goal between 2009 and 2014

Rachel Maddow’s chart on FL conservation goal between 2009 and 2014

 

and they killed the program for solar power in the Sunshine State.

Power companies, the utilities, make money by selling power. The more power you use, the more power they can sell you, and therefore the more money they make. If you make the power yourself from the Sun, the solar panels on your roof, or if you/they/any one uses less power, then they (utility companies) will sell less power and make less money. So, right now, at the request of the utility companies, right before Thanksgiving, very quietly, Florida just decided to stop conserving energy as a state policy. They’re no longer going to try to even do that…and they’ve decided to completely unplug from the sun in the Sunshine State. It’s amazing….I don’t know what Captain Citrus is going to do, but I think Captain Citrus is not going to be happy about this…when this quiet news will be coming out…..

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Essentially there are two issues that are being addressed:

I. Cutting the Solar Rebate program: In reality, the Florida Solar Rebate program had not been funded for quite a few years already. Having an empty promise in solar rebate program hurts the solar policy or solar installations more than not having it at all (for many Floridians have chosen to wait to install solar in the future, when  the solar rebate program will be funded,  instead of installing now). So having it (empty or not-funded solar rebate program) off the books actually is a service for the Floridians. What we do need is better  solar/renewable energy policy and goal, as I’ve been trying to gather interest (supplemented with petition and interviews of various energy experts) in: http://www.sunisthefuture.net/2014/09/24/let-the-sunshine-in-the-sunshine-state/

II.Cutting the Energy Efficiency goal: As Ms. Maddow succinctly puts it, “power companies make money by selling power”, and therefore is not naturally incentivized to ask its customers to conserve energy use.  Expecting the power companies to voluntarily offer energy efficiency program is like asking some one else to do what I think is ethically correct while  asking that some one else to pay for it and I am not. If energy efficiency program is to be carried out, it should not be involving the power companies . We would also need to be prepared for rate hikes as what’s been happening in all of the states that have been very successful with their energy efficiency programs (i.e. CA, MA, RI, VT, OR, http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a)

Finally, I think the most efficient route is what’s being implemented in India, using carbon tax to fund clean, renewable energy (more details will be found in our next post). Right now, India has doubled its coal tax to 100 rupees per ton and will use the money generated for projects that would boost the country’s (India’s) solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2020. So, if Floridians do not want to spend more on energy efficiency or solar rebate programs, then simply tax the carbon producers and use the yield to fund clean energy such as Solar and Wind or energy efficiency program. Then we may rightfully maintain our nickname as the SunShine State without having to tighten our belts. I think Captain Citrus will then approve.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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5 December

Hurray For Kaua’i & KIUC-Part II

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Below is an interview with Jim Kelly, the Communication Manager of KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative), who worked tirelessly in preparing for the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony of the 12 MW (the largest solar farm in the state of Hawaii).  More details of the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony may be found at Sun Is The Future at www.sunisthefuture.net/2014/12/04.


For better understanding of KIUC, it is worth mentioning that in the 1970s, Kauaʻi burned sugar cane waste to supply most of their electricity. Today, the majority of the Kauaʻi’s energy is produced by importing liquid petroleum. As of 2008, KIUC’s fuel mix was 91.9% fossil fuels, 7.6% hydroelectric, 0.2% biomass, and 0.2% solar. KIUC offers $1,000 rebates to residential customers who have solar water heating systems installed on their homes by Energy Wise Participating Contractors.

With about 30,000-31,000 customers on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii, KIUC is the only electric cooperative in the state of Hawaii. This 12 MW solar installation of Koloa Solar will enable Kaua’i to stop burning about 1.7 million gallons of fuel oil and reducing 36,000 tons of carbon emission per year. It is with a conscious decision to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel and to make the transition toward the clean and renewable energy future that the island residents invested in this project of $40 million (comparable to building a conventional power plant). With this investment, they will not only be able to lead the way in renewable energy use  on the planet earth now, but it will also benefit future generations of Kaua’i in sustaining the most clean environment for many decades to come.

Some background information about KIUC from Wikipedia below:

Kauaʻi Electric was incorporated in 1905 as a subsidiary of McBryde Sugar in order to construct a 2.4 MW hydroelectric plant on the Wainiha River. Kauaʻi Electric merged with Lihue Plantation’s Waiahi Electric Company early in the 1950s. Kauaʻi Electric became a division of Citizens Utilities Company in 1969. In the late 1990s, Citizens Utilities announced its intentions to divest from the electric utility business and a group of business leaders from Kauaʻi joined to found the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. KIUC purchased Kauaʻi Electric Company on 1 November 2002 for $215 million.

In December 2009, KIUC participated in hearings regarding its plan to minimize the effects its operations have on three endangered Hawaiian birds, the ʻUaʻu, the ʻaʻo, and the Band-rumped Storm-Petrel

Yes, Kaua’i is definitely blessed with island residents who aim to live in harmony and spirit of conservation with Mother Nature. We will look forward to hearing/reading more about Kaua’i experience in the pursuit of a Clean and Renewable Energy Future!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, posted, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker and filmed by Michael Nunamaker

More related posts:

1. A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kaua’i

2. Kauai Is Going Strong With Solar in 2012-Be Empowered by Going Solar

3. Kauai Leading The Way For Solar In Hawaii

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

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4 December

Hurray For Kaua’i & KIUC-part I

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

KIUC (Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative)'s 12 MW solar panels on the day of the dedication, Sep. 25, 2014

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It is with tremendous awe and admiration that Sun Is The Future team took the trip and video recorded the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony at Kauai, HI, on September 25, 2014. We found out that by Jan. of 2015, 80% of the peak daytime power demand at Kaua’i will be met by  solar energy and 22% of the daily average will be met by renewable energy. KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative) is definitely leading the way on planet earth in our transition toward Renewable Energy Age! This is especially  impressive given the fact that Hawaii is the most fossil fuel dependent state in USA. Realizing that 50% of its total economy comes from tourism and military and the finite nature of fossil fuel, Hawaii actively tries to relieve its dependence from oil so to be less vulnerable to the fluctuation in oil prices and availability. This is mainly accomplished through various goals and roadmaps set by Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

KIUC Team, beaming with pride, of their 12 MW installations

KIUC Communication Manager Jim Kelly (L) & Kumu Sabra Kauka (R) for dedication & blessing

Founder/Editor of Sun Is The Future, Susan Sun Nunamaker, signing solar panel at the KIUC dedication

KIUC Power Supply Manager Brad Rockwell (R) & Sun Is The Future Technical Analyst Michael Nunamaker (L) at the dedication ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the dedication ceremony, Allan A. Smith (Chairman of the Board of KIUC) welcomed every one. Then remarks were made by:David Bissell (President and CEO of KIUC), Tulsi Gabbard (U.S. House of Representatives), Bernard Carvalho Jr. (Mayor of County of Kaua’i), Hermina Morita (Chair of Hawai’i Public Utility Commission), Sheldon Petersen (CEO of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation), Peter Rive (Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of SolarCity), Mike Gabbard (Hawai’i State Senate), Wanda Kau-Shibata (Kaua’i Representative), and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.  Dedication and blessing was made by Kuma Sabra Kauka. It is easy to see the love, respect, care, and reverence the people of Kaua’l have for their land, resources, and energy.

This 12 MW, $40 million solar array project is the largest solar array in HI. Contractor is Solar City and Landowner is Grove Farm. It contains 45,360 panels and started in Nov., 2013. The project will displace 1.7 million gallons of oil annually, eliminate 35,000 tons of emissions annually, and will generate enough energy to power 4,000 homes. It is a key part of KIUC’s strategy to use renewable resources to generate at least 50% of the island’s energy by 2023. KIUC is also making sure that there is a diverse portfolio of renewable energy, utilizing not just the solar power, but also wind- , biomass, and hydro- power.

It is wonderful to see Senator Mike Gabbard’s of Hawaii (Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy & Environment Committee for the past six years)’s excitement for this solar installation. It is understandable how Kaua’i and state of HI are able to arrive at the Solar Heaven ahead of all other states, surpassing its Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative of 2008 (goal of achieving 70% clean energy by 2030 with 30% from efficiency measures and 40% coming from locally generated renewable sources). But currently HI is at 18% renewable energy state-wide (the first bench mark for 2015 had a goal of 15% renewable energy). Of the 18% renewable energy: on the Big Island, 48.1%  from renewables; on Maui, 29.1%; Kaua’i, 18.8%; Ouaha, 11.7%.

Yes, HI is going strong with solar and other renewable energies not only because Hawaiians or residents of Kaua’i are blessed with sunshine but because of their utility such as KIUC is continually looking for ways to collaborate and encourage their state legislators to move toward Renewable Energy. Most importantly, Kaua’i is blessed with island residents who aim to live in harmony and spirit of conservation with Mother Nature. Thumb up for KIUC! Hip! Hip! Hurray for Kaua’i and KIUC! We hope all other states in USA will look toward KIUC for their shining example during our earthly transition toward a Renewable and Clean Energy Future.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, posted, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker and filmed by Michael Nunamaker

More related posts:

1. A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kaua’i

2. Kauai Is Going Strong With Solar in 2012-Be Empowered by Going Solar

3. Kauai Leading The Way For Solar In Hawaii

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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