The Energy Transition in Hawaii: Focus on investments in people and projects

There are many ways to invest in the future of energy in Hawaii. It will take creativity and hard work from project developers; the community, including indigenous groups; regulators; and energy service providers to come up with projects that are acceptable for all concerned. Building trust and respect between stakeholders within the context of equitable community development will be a key metric of success. Any viable project will require substantial amounts of financial capital and an adequate return on investment. The skill development and job creation that results must take us towards a new energy economy. Every community faces similar challenges – how can we invest in people while designing energy projects that are financially viable, resilient, and enhance job skills?

The 8th Annual Hawaii Energy Conference was held virtually 22 and 24 June exploring how to invest with knowledge and respect in Hawaii.

Featured Speakers


Keynote Speaker
June 22

Suleman Kahn
Swell Energy

Invited Speaker
June 24

Mark Toney
Executive Director
The Utility Reform Network

Representative Nicole Lowen
Chair, House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, State of Hawaii

Colton Ching
Senior Vice President, Planning & Technology, Hawaiian Electric

Ariel Drehobl
Local Policy Manager, Energy Equity, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

Jennifer Potter
Commissioner, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

Dawn Lippert
CEO, Elemental Excelerator

Murray Clay
President, Ulupono Initiative

Lorraine Akiba
President/CEO, LHA Ventures

Rebecca Foster

Maria Tome
Managing Director, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Hawaii State Energy Office

Alex De Roode
Energy Commissioner, Office of Climate Change, Resilience, and Sustainability (CCRS)

Makena Coffman
Director, Institute for Sustainability and Resilience, University of Hawaii Mānoa

Scott Glenn
Chief Energy Officer, Hawaii State Energy Office

Scott Valentino
President, Pacific Current

Suzanne Singer
Founder/Executive Director, Native Renewables

Mike Kaleikini
Senior Director for Hawaiian Affairs, Ormat

Wren Wescoatt
Director of Development, Hawaii, Longroad Energy

“The Hawaii Energy Conference provides a vital service to our state by convening policy-makers and stakeholders to discuss our energy future. As we all work together to help Hawaii stabilize and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is especially important to embrace innovative technology, policies and regulation within the renewable energy sector, which will help protect our natural environment, shielding our island state from volatile world fossil fuel markets, strengthening its overall resilience, and aid in its economic recovery.”
– Murray Clay, President of Ulupono Initiative

2021 HEC highlights

Presented by


Supported by
Hawaii Energy Conference

2019 Hawaii Energy Conference