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Concept to Reality

An energy action plan.

August 27, 2009
Debra Lordan · Editor/General Manager
I’m not a scientist or a policy wonk, but it seems clear that if the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 350 parts per million (ppm), and we’re at 389 ppm and climbing, we need to bust a move if we’re going to prevent major climatic disruption and protect the human future. I’m talking about global climate change, the ultimate consequence of our fossil fuel frenzy of the last century—we caused it, and we need to clean it up to avert a climate crisis by building a sustainable, clean energy economy.

ACES, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which passed the U.S. House in June, brings us closer to reaching that goal. But we need a range of complementary policies to make up for the large difference between what U.S. politics now seems capable of enacting and what scientists understand is necessary.

On Maui, our local leadership realizes the urgency for action and is focusing on these important policies. Mayor Charmaine Tavares announced that the Maui County Energy Expo 2009, “Our Energy Future - Concept to Reality,” will be held Thursday and Friday, Sept. 10 and 11, at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa. Pre-conference activities are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, with a special, free, open-to-the-public session on Thursday.

As a follow-up to the sold-out 2007 Energy Expo, the 2009 event will include speakers, panel discussions, exhibits featuring state-of-the-art products and technologies, presentations by the Maui County Energy Alliance Working Groups and a public comment session on an “Energy Action Plan” being developed for Maui County.

On Wednesday, we’ll have the opportunity to learn about the benefits, technology, management, costs and operation of landfill gas-to-energy systems, and Mäkena Resort’s plan to become the world’s first zero net energy development.

Thursday begins with opening remarks from Mayor Tavares, followed by the Models of Reality: Progress Report Panel. During the free and open Thursday afternoon session, the Energy Alliance Working Groups will share their recommendations, and field questions and comments.

Friday includes Key Considerations in Maui’s Next Steps: Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges to Achieving Hawai‘i’s Full Energy Potential, Energy Efficiency & Conservation and Energy Storage & Integration.

“As custodians of these islands, we are taking action for an energy future that is clean and sustainable,” said Mayor Tavares. “We have made good progress toward becoming more energy self-sufficient since launching the first Energy Expo in 2007. Reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuel is one of my administration’s top priorities, and the Expo is one way that government, the private sector and members of the community can work together to shape our county’s energy future.”

Register online at If you can’t make it, no worries. Maui Weekly’s intrepid reporters have you covered. Look for an overview of the expo in the Sept. 17 issue.

Article Photos

Debra Lordan · Editor/General Manager



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