Can Hawaii get out of the carbon rut?

Lawrence Downes writes a short opinion piece in the New York Times about the be or not to be of renewable energy in the blessed islands of Hawaii. Lawrence says

It’s almost embarrassing how green things could be in blue Hawaii. There’s all that sunshine and those trade winds, plus a volcano that has been lazily erupting for the last 25 years. Many barrels of biofuel await tapping in vast acres of sugar cane. Funkier ideas like harnessing tides and waves and growing oily algae play to Hawaii’s strengths.

Not to mention OTEC potential. It would be interesting to hear a counter argument from those working in renewable energy in Hawaii about what is different today, why will OTEC or other renewable energy happen this decade?