Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes
Innovative Ecosystems Initiative seeks to develop human resource to study the area as an ecosystem in which biological and human interactions harmonize work integrated learning activities that aim to improve health, productivity, long-term sustainability and intends to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services that facilitate the development of cost-effective policy responses and better informed decisions.
“Hawaii is a postcard from the future,” said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar, a policy and advocacy group based in California.
As homemade electricity gains popularity, other states and countries, including California, Arizona, Japan and Germany, are struggling to adapt to the growing popularity of making electricity at home, which puts new pressures on old infrastructure like circuits and power lines and cuts into electric company revenue.
The shift in the electric business is no less profound than those that have upended the telecommunications and cable industries in recent decades. It’s already remaking the relationship between power companies and the public while raising questions about how to pay for maintaining and operating the nation’s grid. Electrical engineers confirm these issues are not merely academic.
In the solar-rich areas of California and Arizona, as well as in Hawaii, all that solar-generated electricity flowing out of houses and into a power grid designed to carry it in the other direction has caused unanticipated voltage fluctuations that can overload circuits, burn lines and lead to brownouts or blackouts.
Our planet’s diverse, thriving ecosystems may seem like permanent fixtures, but they’re actually vulnerable to collapse. Jungles can become deserts, and reefs can become lifeless rocks. What makes one ecosystem strong and another weak in the face of change? Kim Preshoff details why the answer, to a large extent, is biodiversity.