Video by David Corrigan
Respected figures in energy philosophy and industry were given several minutes to express their opinions on the direction Hawaii should be headed at a recent Democratic Party convention in Kona.
A panel of experts and noteworthy advocates for renewable energy spoke to an audience at the Hualalai Academy about two weeks ago.
The panel included farmer and geothermal advocate Richard Ha, Representative Denny Coffman, attorney and Innovations Development Group consultant Mililani Trask, HELCO general manager Jose Dizon, and president of H2 Technologies Guy Toyama.
Not all visions of Hawaii’s renewable future were in agreement. There were opposing viewpoints on the sustainability of biofuels, as well as the viability of geothermal as a short term solution. Most panelists seemed to agree, however, that the state needs to develop a definitive plan on how to move forward.
VIDEO – Five panelists speak at “A New Day of Energy Common Sense for Hawaii”
RICHARD HA – President of Hamakua Springs Country Farm, Ha frequently writes about energy issues on his blog, hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. He was also the Co-Chair of the Geothermal Working Group.
DENNY COFFMAN – Representing Kona in the state house, Rep. Coffman is currently the Chair of the Energy and Environmental Protection Comittee, having been appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie.
MILILANI TRASK – Hawaiian attorney Trask is a noted human rights advocate, and has worked with the indigenous peoples of New Zealand to develop geothermal energy under the Innovations Development Group banner, for which she is an advisor and consultant.
JOSE DIZON – HELCO General Manager, Dizon leads the new public-, government-, community-, and media relations areas of the company. He will reportedly be moving to Hawaiian Electric on oahu to lead corporate planing on June 13.
GUY TOYAMA – Toyama serves on the County Energy Advisory Commission, leads the non-profit Friends of NELHA, and is President of H2 Technologies. He also sits of the boards of Hawaii Island Leadership Series and Kanu Hawaii.