Most energy needs can be met locally and with renewable resources.
At Bio-Logical Capital, we ultimately want communities to become net producers of energy—to produce all the power they need and create economic benefit by selling the remainder to a utility.
We focus initially on energy efficiency to reduce demand. As greater resources become available, we harness natural resources – wind, sun, plants, wastes, geothermal gradients – for clean energy to diversify the broader electricity grid. Whether producing energy on a roof for use in the immediate building or producing electricity at a large scale to serve a broader community, local energy sources can reduce Hawai‘i’s need for fossil fuels and create greater stability and economic returns.
OUR CORE ENERGY PHILOSOPHY
We can learn from nature and people to create efficient designs. Buildings can be built to attract or repel heat depending on climate. Site plans can be arranged to minimize energy needs. For hundreds and thousands of years, people have built their homes and communities in response to their environment. By creating new materials and technologies we can be even more successful in creating homes that live comfortably and efficiently, even in extreme conditions. We can also tailor energy production to the climate and site.
We analyze the available natural resources and technologies that exist on the land and design the built environment to leverage natural resources. For example, in the design of buildings, we determine how a building can be designed to capture sunlight and to maximize the power of solar panels on its roof. By considering energy at the very beginning stages of design, we reduce later costs to both residents and developers.
Energy generation should be an integral part of the land without detracting from other natural resources, including views, other economic needs and opportunities, ecological health, and wildlife habitat. Energy sources and technologies are selected according to the resources of the land. We analyze and then make decisions about technology based on their ability to be sustained, suitable to the land and community, and financially viable over the long term.
By designing according to climate and constructing efficient buildings, we increase the opportunity for people and communities to be more self-sufficient, integrating energy efficiency and production into homes, businesses, and buildings. As a result, communities are able to produce the energy they need, avoiding transmission costs and inefficiency, and creating energy security.
Every project incorporates public education to help people see and understand how much energy they use, how their individual decisions have an impact, how smart design reduces energy needs, and how they and their community can generate the energy they need. This education empowers people to make a positive difference, and helps to promote further energy efficiencies and cost savings.
By reducing our energy use and transitioning to renewable energy sources that remain for generations, we can help create a world that uses less energy and fewer fossil fuels. This change reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps to ensure that we are not stripping land of its non-renewable resources. And it protects consumers from the often volatile prices of fossil fuels.
Traditional models with massive centralized energy generation plants have high infrastructure costs and result in lost energy in transmission from the plant to the end user. Energy produced locally does not need to travel as far, so transmission costs and lost energy are significantly reduced, resulting in more efficient production of electricity. Furthermore, by thinking about energy production while we are designing communities, we can design them to be more efficient and ensure that renewable energy technologies can fit easily into the infrastructure. For example, commercial buildings can be designed and built with flat roofs so energy generation systems like solar panels can be installed without modification to the structure.
Efficient homes, businesses, and communities need less electricity and can supply a large portion of the energy they need. As a result, they are more stable and more reliable. For example, the residents of an efficient house, taking advantage of natural energy, can live comfortably even if a power line is cut off.
Ultimately, our approach to renewable energy will spark vibrant community development where people have a deepened awareness of the power derived from nature. It creates ownership and instills stewardship of place – and does so for generations. It supports high-quality jobs and a more stable economy.