Lingle to travel to Bahamas, Denver for energy initiative

Gov. Linda Lingle, at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Energy, will travel to Nassau, Bahamas, and Denver as part of ongoing efforts to develop partnerships to increase Hawai‘i’s energy independence.

“Energy security and climate change are issues that transcend borders,” Lingle said. “As an island state with abundant and diverse renewable energy sources, we have an opportunity to make advances that will not only benefit the people of Hawai‘i, but other nations around the world.”

The governor will travel to Nassau Thursday for a one-day conference that focuses on developing renewable energy solutions for island nations, states and territories, including Hawai‘i and Caribbean island nations.

Lingle will also participate in the announcement of an international partnership for clean and renewable energy development in island nations, with a focus on technologies that utilize indigenous renewable resources. The partnership’s founding members include New Zealand, Iceland and the U.S., with the Department of Energy coordinating Hawai‘i’s involvement as the representative state for America.

The next day Lingle will travel to Denver to participate in a regulatory training workshop as part of the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative.

Currently, Hawai‘i relies on imported oil for 90 percent of its energy needs. Island states and nations are particularly vulnerable to risks posed by volatile fuel markets. High dependence on imported fossil fuels and their progressively unpredictable markets undermine the economic stability and security of island states and nations, says the Governor’s Office.

The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative created a public-private partnership in January between Hawai‘i and U.S. Department of Energy. The state has said it wants 70 percent of its energy to come from clean energy sources by 2030.

The governor’s travel expenses are being covered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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