GEMS’ Sparkle Fades with Time

posted in: 2015, March 2015, Summary | 0

Two years after passage of a law intended to jumpstart the purchase of renewable energy technology by underserved customers, Environment Hawai`i takes a look at how the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism has developed the Green Energy Market Securitization program.

It has floated an ambitious $150 million bond, but whether the bond, secured by a 20-year, irrevocable claim on 95 percent of the state’s electric utility customers, will result in meaningful progress toward the state’s ambitious renewable energy goals is, at this point, far from a sure thing.

Our cover article and sidebars take a look at the program and how it has developed, while our editorial raises several key concerns about its past and future directions.

While articles on energy lead off our reports this month, we also include updates on some of the most important water issues facing the state: the leaks of fuel at Red Hill, imperiling O`ahu’s major source of potable water; the proposed designation of the Keauhou aquifer in West Hawai`i; and the allegations of water waste in Kaua`i.