Rep. Gene Ward Downgrades Solar Industry to ‘Zygote’

Rep. Gene Ward has downgraded Hawaii’s solar industry, from “an infant industry” to “a zygote industry,” in response to a Civil Beat Fact Check

The legislator said at a joint budget briefing on Thursday with state finance director, Kalbert Young, that the penetration of solar on Oahu’s electric grid was a mere 3 percent.

Civil Beat checked it out — in 2011, it was .75 percent. Early projections for 2012, place the number at about 1.5 percent for HECO’s electric grids on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. 

Ward said he stands corrected, noting the situation is much worse than he thought. He says the new numbers only bolster his skepticism that solar tax credits are the reason for a shortfall in state revenue.

(Civil Beat’s Fact Check gave Ward a mostly true.)

Form a press release: 

“This means the situation is even worse with this miniscule amount of PV electricity being generated, therefore I stand corrected,” Ward said.

“This means that instead of being an infant industry – it is a ‘zygote’ industry.”

“We must not try to force feed it ‘meat and potatoes’ or ‘three scoops of rice and sashimi,’ but keep it on milk if we’re ever going to get off imported fuel and have solar on every roof in Hawai‘i,” Ward concluded.


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