Editor’s note: Apollo Kaua‘i, a group of concerned Kaua‘i residents fostering a secure energy future, mailed a set of questions weeks in advance of its Feb. 22 candidates’ forum, to those running for the KIUC board. What follows are the responses from Peter Thielen.
1. What is your position on the use of coal for electricity generation on Kaua‘i?
I strongly oppose the use of coal to generate electricity on Kauai.
2. How, in your opinion, do we find the balance between short term electricity costs and moving towards clean, renewable energy?
This is the biggest problem facing KIUC. I do not want to see higher rates yet implementing renewable energy has costs.
3. Assuming no regulatory barriers, how far do you believe the CO-OP should go in helping the community achieve greater energy self sufficiency?
This is one of the greatest opportunities for KIUC to help substantially lower their customers’ electric bill(s) by purchasing, in bulk, solar water heating panels and solar cells for generating electricity from our natural resources, the sun. It’s the same with switching to fluorescent lighting versus the old incandescent bulbs. The more the CO-OP starts working toward renewable energy resources, the sooner we can reach a self-sufficient Kauai.
4. What creative strategies can KIUC employ in working with the County and the community to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of electricity for domestic hot water heating? What creative strategies can KIUC employ in working with the County and the community to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of electricity for domestic hot water heating?
The creative strategies that KIUC can employ by working with the County and the community is to pass an amendment requiring that ALL new residential and commercial structures be required by law to install a solar water heater/panels unless the location of the structure is in an area that does not get much sun and will not generate at least 40 percent of their energy needs. In these rare cases, then require “on demand” for those homes/buildings.
5. Do you support the continued use of purchase power agreements for all new renewable energy projects undertaken by the co-op?
I DO NOT support the continued use of Purchase Power Agreements for all renewable energy projects undertaken by the co-op.
6. What is your position on distributed generation, and on KIUC’s role in helping shape a more distributed system of electricity generation in the future?
My position on Distributed Generation and KIUC’s role in helping shape a more distributed system of electricity in the future is that we need to have several points of power generation and as we add renewable electrical sources, they will not all be in the same location.