Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 |
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Having worked in the environmental energy field for over 25 years, I have tried
to keep abreast of the current energy issues and developments and how they
affect our Island. Victor Cloutier’s Viewpoint in The Garden Island on Nov. 22
(“Pay close attention to island’s power decisions”) was very chilling. It
appears we are going to have a plant burning diesel fuel and Naptha up-wind of
our most populated areas.
Exposing our children to this pollution when
there are other alternatives is ludicrous. Even if the wind blows the sulfur
dioxide into the mountains, the acid rain damage to our watershed should not be
ignored. The 400,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide emitted each year must fall
somewhere; unfortunately, it will fall on our small piece of paradise.
appeared before the County Council regarding the buyout of Kaua’i Electric by
the co-op. Even though I thought the idea of the community owning the utility
was a good idea, I also thought the price was far too high.
At that time I
also explained how Kaua’i Electric is restricting the large-scale installation
of solar water heaters on Kaua’i. They do this by restricting the number of
solar systems installed on Kaua’i to under 65 per year. They give very large
rebates to a small number of people and therefore defeat the purpose of a
All ratepayers pay into the solar fund and should not
be denied a rebate if they want one. All the other Islands have solar programs,
whereas any ratepayer can receive a rebate if they elect to install a solar
system. KE also dictates the price contractors may charge for systems, which is
a form of price fixing.
I complained to the Public Utilities Commission
about this unfair practice on July 7. I asked them to review and change Kaua’i
Electric’s current solar program to one that is fair to all ratepayers. I
finally got a reply five months later. Kevin Katsura of the commission wrote to
me and asked, ” What laws have they broken?”
Since Nathan Kawakami from
our local Public Utilities Commission office was proudly shoveling dirt at the
premature groundbreaking ceremony at the new diesel plant, I would have to
assume neither he nor Mr. Katsura are interested in helping to insure that
Kaua’i have a successful solar program.
I believe that if we had a proper
solar program here, we could delay for a short time the need to build
additional diesel plants. We then should immediately begin the implementation
of hydroelectric plants and wind farms. This technology does very little damage
to our environment and can provide clean, inexpensive power to offset our
future energy requirements. Within a few years, the availability of the fuel
cell will probably be realized. The Garden Island’s article “Electricity in a
box” on Nov. 23, page 9-B, sheds a little more light on this technology.
The health of our children, as well as Kauai’s energy future, is at stake
here. Our dependence on foreign oil is the reason we now have the highest rates
in the nation. Building more oil burning plants will insure that we will
continue to have the highest rates. The price of oil by all projections will
soar within the next 10 years as reserves are depleted. Our total dependency
for oil to supply almost all of our energy needs is shortsighted.
cannot assume that the stockholders for Citizens Utilities in Connecticut, nor
Dennis Polosky of Kaua’i Electric, have the best interests of Kauai’s children
or ratepayers in mind.
The Kaua’i Energy Coalition is now adopting its
Kaua’i energy program and will meet soon to formulate its plans and agenda.
Please call 332-8890 for information and an application to join this non-profit
Kaua’i Energy Coalition
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