Honolulu – “I am excited and honored to participate in a briefing with President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team in Washington DC. This briefing can result in federal support for wave energy systems in our state, which will help Hawaii‘s economy and our goal to reduce use of fossil fuel,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Cynthia Thielen. “There are a couple of real advantages that make this opportunity so exciting for Hawaii. First, the coalition of stakeholders that will meet with the Transition Team – environmentalists, academics, energy developers, investors, and utilities – are not often on the same boat, but they are together on the issue of wave energy. Second, the University of Hawaii is one of only two National Marine Renewable Test Centers in the nation, and they will be funded for the next five years to study and implement wave energy systems. “
A sampling of the coalition members includes the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Heritage Institute, Portland General Electric, the National Marine Renewable Energy Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hydropower Reform Coalition, the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pacific Energy Ventures LLC, the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University, and the Surfrider Foundation.
The coalition has adopted Principles to guide ocean renewable energy development. Among the Principles are increased government action to encourage pilot projects. “Hawaii, with its excellent wave climate, is a natural choice for such pilot projects,” noted Rep. Thielen.
The meeting is scheduled for December 16th, 2008 and will also include transition teams from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission, and the Council on Environmental Quality.