Richard Ha writes:
I had a request to post the full Geothermal Working Group Interim Report, so you can read/download the complete Geothermal Working Group Interim report here.
From the report:
There is an urgency to developing new energy resources because Hawaii, like most of the world, is overwhelmingly dependent upon depleting supplies of fossil fuels. The consensus among credible resource scientists and many economists is that petroleum prices will rise to unprecedented levels in a few years. Since Big Island uses oil for 90% of its power, this is of the utmost concern to leaders in government and business.
...The volatility of petroleum-based energy makes business planning very difficult, whereas geothermal energy is stable. Jim Kauahikaua, Chief Scientist at Hawaii Volcano National Park Observatory, says that geothermal energy will be available to Big Island for 500,000 to 1,000,000 years.
Geothermal is the cheapest form of base power for Hawaii. A Wall Street Journal article estimated geothermal energy is produced at a cost equivalent to $57 per barrel. As of this writing, January-2011-delivery crude is $88.02 per barrel. Using geothermal as Hawaii's primary source of base power will permit greater manufacturing competition relative to the rest of the world. Our standard of living will also rise relative to the rest of the world. Significantly, using geothermal as Hawaii's primary source of base power will help folks on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder - those who would otherwise have their lights turned off first.