Who We Are
Sustainable Energy Hawaii, formerly Big Island Community Coalition (BICC), is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Hawaii Island residents. We are an advocacy group dedicated to raising public awareness and stimulating the political will to enable change. At Sustainable Energy Hawaii, we understand that the price of energy is the common factor affecting the cost of everything in our state. Through that lens, our vision is a future of affordable energy for Hawaii, produced using only local renewable resources. This will keep money in our local economy, producing economic equity, energy independence, and prosperity.
An economic, social, and overall environmental revival for Hawaii through a just transition to 100% clean locally-sourced renewable energy, and the creation of a thriving hydrogen economy on Hawaii Island.
Our immediate goal is to build public trust and political will to dramatically increase our renewable energy capacity, particularly geothermal. We are certain that a diversified, emission-free, renewable energy portfolio will allow Hawaii to wean itself from fossil fuel, reduce its carbon footprint, and meet its 2045 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard.
We believe that we can create sustained economic opportunities, enable increased social justice, and heal our environment by attaining sustainable energy independence for all our people. Through thoughtful planning, collaboration, and hard work to bring about lower energy prices, we are convinced it can be achieved in a manner that strengthens our community, top to bottom while improving our environment.
We are lucky to have robust wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy resources on Hawaii Island. Significant progress has already been made to improve our renewable energy mix. However, much more must be done to expand capacity and to avoid intermittence. Geothermal is of particular interest given our special situation – Hawaii sits atop a hot spot that is a source of significant energy, one that will last millennia. Importantly, it offers a source of continuous energy. It does not have the challenge of intermittence but can supply energy at peak output 24/7. There are physical and cultural challenges associated with the utilization of geothermal energy, but we believe there are strategies to mitigate them for all.
Energy from our various renewable sources - solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal - offers Hawaii the opportunity to generate electricity that exceeds its consumption, including that of a growing demand from the electrification of transportation. This must be reflected in much lower energy prices for everyone.
Abundant low-cost energy offers the promise of increased economic opportunity for our people; it also offers the opportunity to create a local hydrogen economy - the production, distribution, and export of hydrogen gas. We have the resources to produce hydrogen without using any fossil fuel at all. This process, electrolysis, produces only one byproduct: pure hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen production might allow Hawaii
Island to export energy to other islands. It may also offer fuel for ground and sea transportation. It’s not far-fetched to envision a renewable energy cash dividend for Hawaii residents similar to the dividend enjoyed by Alaska’s residents (the Alaska Permanent Fund).