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U.S. Navy Makes Big Investment In Hawaii Green Tech

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HAWAII SOLAR PANEL
Hawaii, Big Island, Kamuela, Parker Ranch, Solar panels in open field. | Getty

The U.S. military is one of the most motivated parties when it comes to decreasing our reliance on foreign oils and a recent $30 million investment by the U.S. Navy proves it. The Navy's commitment to The Energy Excelerator, a Hawaii-based accelerator program for clean energy start-ups, will help the company put money into tech developments in three main areas: integrating renewable energy into the electric grid, reducing the use of oil in transportation and energy efficiency.

Hawaii, as Good points out, is an ideal incubator for green technologies. New technologies tend to be more expensive than traditional energy sources, but according to Forbes,
renewable energy technologies do well in Hawaii because energy prices are already quadruple what they are on the mainland, giving new technologies a chance to compete.

The U.S. military, which controls nearly 240,000 acres of land in Hawaii, is second only to tourism when in comes to economic drivers in the state, and it has already made multimillion-dollar investments in Hawaii businesses for solar, biofuels, conservation and other green areas.

The Navy's new investment, however, is a boon for local companies and ventures. The $30 million commitment tripled The Energy Excelerator's funding since its founding three years ago and illustrates the extent to which Hawaii is seen as the ideal lab and marketplace for new, green technologies.

As Dawn Lippert, Energy Excelerator’s Senior Manager, told TechCrunch, “Cleantech is struggling in the venture world. A lot of energy companies in clean tech are hungry for this program ... They’re coming to Hawaii to get into a market, and that’s what we do ... In the general world of clean tech and energy, this is a really bright spot.”

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