Jan 27, 2016

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Maui County and Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) are hosting the third annual Maui Energy Conference, March 16-18 2016 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.  Energy experts and stakeholders from across the U.S. and Hawaii will meet to learn about the latest advances in clean energy and how Hawaii plans to achieve the new 100% RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) target. On June 8th 2015, Hawaii updated legislation setting the 100% renewable portfolio standard by 2045. The standards are state and local policies that mandate all or certain types of electricity producers to supply a minimum share of their electricity from designated renewable resources. Hawaii has met its annual RPS requirements to date.
“The 2016 Maui Energy Conference will bring together some of the best minds in the energy sector from Maui County, the state, and the nation,” said Frank De Rego, Jr., MEDB Director of Business Development Projects and member of the conference program committee. “The focus of discussion will be Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative’s 100% RPS and its implications for Hawaii’s energy future. The strengths of the conference over the years have been the high quality of its speakers and panelists, the ample time to network and the availability of the panel sessions to the general public at the conclusion of the conference on the conference website.”  
The Conference will seek consensus about realistic targets and goals, the readiness of the utilities to reach them and how much this will really cost. Other issues include how to mitigate disruptions of energy supply and price when transitioning from carbon based fuels to renewables and the importance of a diversified portfolio. Looking at all the other questions: How; Where; Why; and Who Pays are just a few of the obvious issues. “Within ‘how’ and ‘why’ are important sub-questions about fairness and respect for Hawaiian culture and the environment,” said Program committee chair, Doug McLeod, DKK Energy Services. “In addition, the County of Maui’s energy consultant Guernsey has been invited to present their recommendation with regard to ownership of the electric utility on Maui.”