The Maui Energy Conference began last Wednesday, where Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa talked about making our islands the first in the United States to run on 100 percent renewable energy. If you’re in the market for Maui real estate, you may already know that Maui County includes the islands of Lanai and Molokai, which are also part of this goal.
As the mayor pointed out, other islands have gone off the grid, including some of those in the Caribbean. He emphasized his confidence that the goal is attainable, and that sustainability and self-sufficiency are worth striving for. Considering how much it costs to import oil to the islands, it would be hard not to improve costs using renewables, even as we face the obstacles of figuring out an unfamiliar system.
As most Maui real estate buyers know, these islands get plenty of sun for solar energy wind for wind energy. As storage and integration technologies improve, so will the operating costs of the utility companies. As for whether the savings are passed on to the customer, time will tell, but we can hope for the best as things unfold.
As of 2013, around 23.5 percent of Maui Electric Co.’s power came from renewable sources. Many businesses and home owners are adding rooftop solar, and the biggest challenge is for MECO to integrate them with the grid at the same rate that customers are installing them. According to Blue Planet Foundation, a renewable energy nonprofit, the goal should be attainable by 2050.
We hope you’ve found this informative. If you need assistance with your real estate search here in the West Maui area, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!