Our need to transition to renewable energy sources therefore is greater, too. We know all too well what real or perceived interruptions to oil supplies can do to our gas and electricity prices.
Electricity vs. Gasoline
At the heart of the rail debate is whether commuters will use electricity or gasoline to travel between the ewa side and Honolulu – whether there will be an “electric train” option to automobiles and buses.
Every new wind, solar photovoltaic, biofuel and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) project that comes online on Oahu displaces oil and coal to generate electricity. (Our graphic today is an artist’s conception of a floating OTEC plant, which we’ve promoted frequently at our Hawaii Energy Options blog.)
The faster the transition, the less dependent we’ll be on imported oil. Honolulu’s “electric train” undoubtedly will be powered by green energy by the time the system is completed.
If running the train with solar energy stored in our tropical ocean appeals to you, so should rail. Read up on OTEC as Hawaii’s energy game-changer and future energizer of Honolulu’s fixed guideway project.