Maui residents can meet the goal of getting 95 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, and sees a geothermal potential of 140 MW more than two-thirds of the overall renewable energy potential.
A local report believes that “Maui residents can meet the goal of getting 95 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, and sees a geothermal potential of 140 MW more than two-thirds of the overall renewable energy potential.
In order to do so, so the article, “the community will need to tap into all potential renewable power sources, according to a report by the Maui County Energy Alliance.”
The article talks about conservation, wind and solar power installations, but also reflects on the geothermal potential on the island. Today about 15 percent of its power comes from renewable sources with an existing installed capacity of 270 MW. The now released research estimates a potential of 481 MW installed capacity only from renewable sources.
Talking about solar installations, the report also mentions “a potential 140 megawatts from geothermal sources, and one of Jakeway’s group’s recommendations was to encourage geothermal energy development in Maui County.
Geothermal, which involves tapping heat from deep within the earth and converting it to electricity, is attractive because it provides a “firm” power source, meaning it doesn’t fluctuate like systems that depend on the wind or sun. But proposals to develop geothermal sources on the Big Island have faced opposition, in part because Native Hawaiian groups see the deep drilling as a desecration of spiritually important volcano areas.
Jakeway said that if Maui does explore geothermal sources, it should learn from the mistakes of the Big Island.
“We need to proceed with caution and care, because of the cultural sensitivity surrounding this technology,” Jakeway said.”
So the sensibility of developing geothermal energy is important and needs to be addressed, but the potential is great.
Source: Maui News