Across the country, geothermal energy is a red-hot topic. Politicians and commercial and residential property owners alike are debating why, how and where to apply the technology. The eco-friendly energy option is growing in popularity because it provides exceptional benefits.
“Moving forward on geothermal is important to Hawaii Island because we want to increase our use of renewable energy and bring down costs for our customers, while also ensuring reliable service,” said HELCO president Jay Ignacio, according to the news source. “At the same time we’re pursuing bidders who are committed to thoroughly addressing environ-mental, community and cultural concerns.”
The potential of geothermal energy in Hawaii
Because Hawaii is an island, almost all of its energy needs are met by shipping in resources. This is a costly venture and the price of shipping in oil and natural gas to run the state’s energy grid keeps rising. State politicians and researchers are looking for new ways to meet Hawaii’s energy needs and a combination of solar and geothermal energy seems to fit the bill. Today, geothermal electricity is produced in eight U.S. states and 23 foreign countries, according to the Geothermal Energy Association, and this is only expected to increase as developers see the potential and realize it is within reach and can provide an excellent return on investment.
However, the unique situation Hawaii is in, concerning its island status and current infrastructure, makes comparing the use of geothermal on the pacific island to other states difficult. Those who are concerned about the switch to geothermal energy’s impact on the island are focusing on the drilling and what it will disturb.
New geothermal contract signed
Despite worries, officials and developers have decided to move forward with a geothermal project. Pacific Business Journal reported that a contract to develop a 50-megawatt geothermal project on the Big Island is scheduled to begin in the near future. There is currently a competition among many energy developers on the island to determine who will run the project, which is valued at $200 million.
According to the news source, millions have already been spent to evaluate the land to determine the best place to dig and to estimate the possible return on investment. The eco-friendly energy option would be unlike anything that is currently being used on any of the islands Hawaii.
Geothermal power offers the commercial and residential property owners on Hawaii the ideal solution for their energy needs. Instead of paying the high costs associated with shipping more traditional energy resources to the island like oil, investments can be made into the renewable solution. Already geothermal power is demonstrating its ability to provide a return on investment within a relatively short period of time.
From heating and cooling a large commercial space, to controlling the temperature in a small home, geothermal energy can be applied to a number of different uses.Tags: Solar energy