Energy Central: Maui Might Exit HEI, Create Its Own Utility

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said he is considering turning Maui Electric Co. into a publicly owned utility. Arakawa said making MECO a public utility would help Maui adopt renewable energy resources at a faster pace and save customers money.

"We have come to the conclusion that we have to start looking at this thing very seriously as to what our potential is in actually investing and creating our own utility," Arakawa said in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Maui is the second of Hawaiian Electric Industries' three service areas looking at possibly stepping out from underneath the HEI umbrella. A group on Hawaii island said in February it is considering turning Hawaii Electric Light Co. into a cooperative.

Vice: Some Wind Turbines Can Be Hacked by Anyone With an Internet Connection

The age of the internet of things, where everything from fridges to wind turbines are connected to the internet, is coming. These smart devices can be controlled remotely, optimizing efficiency and power production -- but they can also be hacked.

In mid-March, a researcher fou​nd a vulnerability that allowed anyone to hack the operator of the XZERES 442SR, a small-scale wind turbine for homes or farms, allowing the attacker to potentially take it over.

But as it turns out, you might not need to exploit a vulnerability to hack these wind turbines.

Inc. Magazine: Here Comes the Airbnb of the Solar Industry

Israeli entrepreneur Amit Rosner launched a new business launches yesterday. It has received two rounds of funding (he won't say how much or who from) from an Israeli angel and a top-tier Israel venture fund. The firm name is Yeloha, from yellow, "to represent the sun," he says, and "aloha, the globally recognized Hawaiian greeting for both hello and goodbye that literally expresses affection, peace, and compassion."

Yeloha combines the power of social networks and the appeal of the sharing economy. Its goal: to remove some of the constraints that make solar power inaccessible to so many. "We'd like to let anyone go solar," says Rosner. "No matter where they live, no matter what their income level is."

The New Yorker: The Arrival of Manmade Earthquakes

Until 2008, Oklahoma experienced an average of one to two earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater each year. (Magnitude-3.0 earthquakes tend to be felt, while smaller earthquakes may be noticed only by scientific equipment or by people close to the epicenter.) In 2009, there were 20. The next year, there were 42. In 2014, there were 585, nearly triple the rate of California. Including smaller earthquakes in the count, there were more than 5,000. This year, there has been an average of two earthquakes a day of magnitude 3.0 or greater.

William Ellsworth, a research geologist at the United States Geological Survey, said, “We can say with virtual certainty that the increased seismicity in Oklahoma has to do with recent changes in the way that oil and gas are being produced.”

Guardian: Saudi Arabia Boosts Crude Production to Highest Level on Record

Saudi Arabia has revved up crude production to its highest rate on record, feeding unexpectedly strong demand from foreign refiners and increased capacity at home.

The oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said on Tuesday the country produced 10.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in March, a figure that would eclipse its previous recent peak of 10.2 million bpd in August 2013, according to records going back to the early 1980s.

A few weeks ago, al-Naimi pegged production at about 10 million bdp, 350,000 bpd above what Saudi Arabia said it pumped in February. The kingdom produces more than 10% of the world’s crude.