I Aloha Molokai — the local group that promotes renewable energy while opposing industrial wind turbines — will hold its second annual Alternative Energy Festival this Friday and Saturday at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center in Kaunakakai.
This year’s festival will focus on “sensible renewable energy” and will take place from 4-6 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs supports this event. Last year, a $92,500 OHA grant helped bring in off-island speakers and presenters offering energy-saving solutions and alternatives.
More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s festival. Featured at the festival will be energy experts, state and county energy officials, exhibitors, workshops, food and, of course, music. IAM’s goal is to find low impact, affordable, island-by-island alternatives to, what the group calls, “the giant, boondoggle wind turbine and cable project proposed by our Governor.”
Special guests at this year’s festival will be the Quechan Tribal Delegation. This Native American tribe is fighting against a giant wind project in the desert near San Diego. This year’s festival won’t be just energy talk, but cultural exchange. It will also offer an opportunity to discuss renewable energy from the perspective of indigenous people.
Molokai drums will welcome the Quechan Tribe members with a Hawaiian protocol at 4 p.m. Friday. Kanoho Helm, president of IAM and recent State Senate candidate, will offer an introduction along with Colette Machado, chairperson and Molokai representative of OHA. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
On Saturday will be the main events, including four different panel discussions. Some of the discussions will cover energy and island independence, current Hawaii energy plans (featuring state and county officials) and energy alternatives for Molokai. Click here for a complete schedule of events and workshops.
At last year’s first IAM Alternative Energy Festival, serious panel discussions involved legislators and energy experts. There were also youth contests, live music and information on how to obtain loans for small solar-powered systems.
Helm urges everyone to attend. “Bring your children, bring your friends, bring your questions and bring you ideas,” said Helm in a promotional Youtube video for the event. “Hey Mr. Governor, I hope you come, too!”
IAM believes that renewable energy projects must protect the environment, respect Native Hawaiian culture, provide reliable energy at affordable cost and be supported by the community. IAM’s work involves not just advocacy but public education through films, forums and community outreach on Molokai, around the state and throughout the world.
For more information, go to ialohamolokai.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 213-1321.