A broad-based energy insurgency is shaking up the biggest power players in the islands.
It is made up largely of renewable energy elements who argue that Hawaiian Electric is so tightly tied to its 20th century business culture that the company is incapable of responding to the state’s fast-evolving electricity needs.
This is crucial to why some activists, policymakers and business representatives are working to weaken Hawaiian Electric. Most ultimately want to peel control away from an iconic electric utility that began to illuminate Hawaii in the 19th century.
Welcome to Hawaii’s true power struggle. The fight is, of course, all about electricity — who generates, manages and pays for it.
But the ultimate question for the state’s cost-burdened customers — at least as seen through the lens of Civil Beat’s ongoing series about the high cost of living in the islands — is whether or not these disruptive forces will bring down the high price of electricity as the state works toward its long-term renewable energy generation goals.