Hawaii Energy Crisis
The price of petroleum is skyrocketing. Fossil fuels are a limited resource; we only have
so much. As the demands increase, the resources available decrease, and the prices follow suit.
More than 90% of Hawaii’s energy comes from imported oil. (Elliott 2010) Hawaii is too
dependent on imported fossil fuels; it is crucial for Hawaii to become more self-sufficient in our
energy usage for us to prosper. For this to happen, an alternative source of energy must be
If we continue to depend too heavily on imported oil, Hawaii will develop serious
problems. An alternative source of energy needs to be created or our economy will go downhill
and eventually crash. The cause of this crash will be due to the escalation of oil prices. “… more
than 90 percent or [sic] our energy comes from oil.” (Elliott 2010) “Transportation consumes
63% of Hawaii’s imported oil, while electricity generation uses about 30%.”(HECO) What
would happen to Hawaii if 80 percent of the energy we obtain from oil was lost due to a lack of
money? Over half of the people living in Hawaii would have no electricity as well as have no
transportation. How would people live in Hawaii? How will people work with no power? Where
would Hawaii’s economy be? During the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, Big Island Weekly news
reported that, “George Applegate, Big Island Visitors Bureau executive director, said it's a
possibility that tourism to the Big Island may increase as a result of the oil spill.” (Henderson
2010) If an oil spill were to happen in Hawaii, this could drive tourists to other destinations. Not
acting upon this issue could in turn create a disastrous effect on our economy.
Instituting an alternative source of energy shows great promise for Hawaii’s future. These
energy sources could come from the sea, the wind, the sun, or even our volcanoes. This would
decrease Hawaii’s dependency on imported oil. Not only would this cause Hawaii to become
more self-sufficient in our energy consumption energy, it would also provide a cheaper source of
energy. “Electricity from a concentrated solar power plant can cost about 10 to 14 cents per
kilowatt-hour” (NRDC) comparatively, electricity from petroleum costs 28.59 cents per kilowatt-
hour for the residents of Hawaii. Without the emission of carbon dioxide, alternative energy
sources would also provide a cleaner environment. At this point, if something were to happen to
the supply of oil, Hawaii would not be greatly affected. The creation of alternative sources of
energy would provide a better economy for Hawaii.
Imported fossil fuel is Hawaii’s major source of energy. Due to the escalating price of oil,
Hawaii will eventually be driven to bankruptcy. In order for Hawaii to flourish, we must become
self-sufficient in energy by reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and by using alternative
sources of energy. Relying less on imported oil would save the state money as well as reduce the
amount of pollution created by fossil fuels. Hawaii will then be able to prosper.
HECO. "Fuel Oil Use in Hawaii." Hawaiian Electric Company. Web. 01 Dec. 2010.
Henderson, Terrie. "Big Island Weekly - Read." Big Island Weekly - News. Big Island Weekly,
26 May 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2010.
Elliott, Linda. "Oil Spills: Is Hawaii at Risk? Is Hawaii Prepared? | Hawaii247.com | Hawaii
24/7." Hawaii247.com | Hawaii 24/7 | Hawaii's News Now | News, Weather, Sports from
the Big Island. Hawaii 24/7, 11 May 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2010.
"Energy Information Administration (EIA) | State/Territory Energy Profiles | Energy Data,
Information, and Maps." U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent
Statistics and Analysis. 24 Nov. 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2010.
"NRDC: Renewable Energy for America: Solar." NRDC: Natural Resocurces Defense Council -
The Earth's Best Defense. Natural Resources Defense Council. Web. 01 Dec. 2010.