Survey: 8 in 10 residents concerned about climate change - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Survey: 8 in 10 residents concerned about climate change

Image courtesy: Blue Planet Foundation Image courtesy: Blue Planet Foundation
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A new survey show most Hawaii residents are concerned about climate change, and a majority support the state's 100 percent renewable energy goal and increased availability and integration of clean energy.

The Blue Planet Foundation worked with a market research expert to survey over 600 residents from across the state and found 57 percent of residents "definitely" support a significant undertaking to make Hawaii completely energy independent by 2040.

The figure has gone up from 47 percent from a similar survey conducted in 2010.

The highest level of support for the clean energy initiative comes from Oahu residents, followed by Kauai residents.

The survey also showed that 81 percent of Hawaii residents are either "very" or "fairly" concerned about climate change.

"These survey results confirm that the conversation about energy in Hawaii is changing," said Jeff Mikulina, executive director of Blue Planet Foundation. "Hawaii residents from all counties told us that 100 percent clean energy is the future for our state and that where our energy comes from matters."

Statewide, Hawaii residents voiced strong support for various sources of renewable energy: 86 percent strongly support solar, followed by wind (63 percent), ocean energy (62 percent), geothermal (48 percent), hydroelectricity (48 percent), biofuels (31 percent), and biomass (24 percent). Overall, Big Island residents voiced the most support for all these sources of renewable energy.

Only 5 percent of Hawaii residents think we should use the cheapest energy, no matter where it comes from. Meanwhile, 95 percent said price should either be balanced with other factors like protecting the environment and securing local energy (49 percent) or that price is less important than other factors (46 percent).

Respondents also expressed interest in forward-thinking pricing models that could help utilities with peak shaving.

When asked about dynamic pricing, most (62 percent) responded that they would consider paying more for electricity during peak usage hours if they could lower their prices during non-peak usage hours. 

The survey also showed a growing interest in electric vehicles.

About 1 in 3 Hawaii residents said that they were thinking of buying an electric vehicle.

Of the prospective EV owners, 53 percent had not yet purchased one because of perceptions about price, while 35 percent were concerned about access to charging infrastructure. Maui residents expressed the highest level of interest. Some 36 percent of Maui residents are thinking of purchasing an EV.

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