The November 12th edition has stories on the Honolulu Authority on Rapid Transportation (HART) and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), which will be key components of our future society if events play out as expected in the years immediately ahead.
(Subscribers can log in to read complete stories on the website, but others are restricted to only the first couple paragraphs. Clicking on “View This Week’s Digital Edition” allows a temporary preview of the weekly paper’s pages, and you might get as far as page 8 and the HART story before your preview expires.)
Light at the End of the Tunnel
HART, which was approved by Oahu voters earlier this month, will guide the construction, operation and maintenance of Honolulu rail. The system will be the transportation backbone of Oahu’s urban core that will continue to grow between downtown Honolulu/Kakaako/Ala Moana and the Second City of Kapolei to the west.
PBN editorializes in this edition that the election of pro-rail Governor-elect Neil Abercrombie and pro-rail Mayor Peter Carlisle has removed a great deal of uncertainty about the project:
Ocean Powering the Train
Elsewhere in this issue, PBN continues it series on renewable energy technologies by giving page-one treatment to OTEC, which long has been appreciated by advocates as the ultimate game-changer to get Hawaii off oil- and coal-fired electrical generation.
Pages 30 and 31 of PBN’s print edition are dominated by the continuation of the OTEC story and by the “Light rail headed in the right direction” editorial – a nice juxtaposition, since decades from now Honolulu rail could well be powered almost entirely by ocean power.
Honolulu rail will improve energy efficiency and air quality even though the system will be powered mostly by electricity generated by Hawaiian Electric’s fossil fuel power plants in its early years. But if OTEC finally realizes its enormous potential and becomes commercially viable in the coming decades, Honolulu rail could run entirely on ocean power.
That scenario is likely to be realized during the lifetimes of most Oahu residents, so this could be one PBN issue you’ll want to read to your children and grandchildren. Firing up their imaginations on what Oahu life could be like by mid-century will help make it happen.