Energy in Hawaii
Energy in Hawaii is complicated by the state's isolated location and lack of fossil fuel resources. The state relies heavily on imports of petroleum and coal for power although renewable energy is increasing. Hawaii is the state with the highest share of petroleum use in the United States, with about 62% of electricity coming from oil in 2017. As of 2016, 26.6% of electricity was from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal.
Hawaii has the highest electricity prices in the United States. As of 2016 the average cost of electricity was $0.24 per kilowatt-hour, followed by Alaska at $0.19. The U.S. average was $0.10.
- 1 Consumption
- 2 Government support for renewable energy
- 3 Energy use by sector
- 4 Electricity
- 5 Algae fuel
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Hawaii's primary energy consumption is dominated by oil, which in 2016 provided 83% (down from 85.0% in 2008 and 99.7% in 1960). Other sources in 2016 included coal (5.6%) and renewable energy (11.2%). In 2017, sources of renewable power were:
Government support for renewable energy
Hawaii allows solar energy facilities to be located on less-productive agricultural lands. HB 3179 made it easier for biofuel producers to lease state lands. SB 3190 and HB 2168 authorized special purpose revenue bonds to help finance a solar energy facility on Oahu and hydrogen generation and conversion facilities at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, located on Hawaii island.
In 2010 SB644 mandated solar water heaters for new construction. The bill excluded homes located in areas with poor solar energy resources, homes using other renewable energy sources, and homes employing on-demand gas-fired water heaters. The bill eliminated solar thermal energy tax credits for homes.
SB988 allowed the Hawaii Public Utility Commission to establish a rebate for photovoltaic systems, and HB2550 encouraged net metering for residential and small commercial customers.
In 2008 HB 2863 provided streamlined permitting for new renewable energy facilities of at least 200 megawatts capacity. HB 2505 created a full-time renewable energy facilitator to help the state expedite permits. HB 2261 provided loans of up to $1.5 million and up to 85% of the cost of renewable energy projects at farms and aquaculture facilities.
Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
On January 28, 2008, the State of Hawaii and the US Department of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding and announced the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which has a goal to use renewable energy to supply 70 percent or more of Hawaii's energy needs by 2030.
The Initiative will focus on working with public and private partners on clean energy projects including: designing cost-effective approaches for 100 percent use of renewable energy on smaller islands, designing systems to improve stability of electrical grids operating with variable generating sources, such as wind power plants on the Island of Hawaii and Maui, and expanding Hawaii's capability to use locally grown crops as byproducts for producing fuel and electricity.
Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority
The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is a test site for experimental renewable energy generation methods and pilot plants for them. Originally built to test Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), it later added research into other sustainable uses of natural energy sources such as aquaculture, biofuel from algae, solar thermal energy, concentrating solar and wind power.
Energy use by sector
95% of the population in Hawaii is supplied by Hawaiian Electric Industries. Kauai is instead supplied by the consumer-owned Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. As of 2018, the total dispatchable capacity is 1,727 MW, and the intermittent generation capacity is 588 MW. Each island generates its own power.
Most of the electricity in Hawaii is produced from oil.
Solar power in Hawaii grew quickly as photovoltaic panel prices dropped putting household energy generation below the cost of purchased electricity. In 2013, Hawaii was second only to Arizona in per capita solar power and about 10% of Oahu customers had solar panels. Several utility scale solar farms exist along with distributed household generation. In 2017, solar power produce 38.4% of the state's electricity.
The island of Kauai has an abundance of solar energy, and installed batteries to permit renewable energy to be used at night.
Hawaii has strong, consistent winds. Wind power in Hawaii generated 6.4% of total electricity generation in 2015. Hawaii began research into wind power in the mid-1980s with a 340 kW turbine on Maui, the 2.3MW Lalamilo Wells wind farm on Oahu and the 9 MW Kamaoa wind farm on Hawaii Island. The MOD-5B, a 3.2 MW wind turbine, on Oahu was the largest in the world in 1987. These early examples were all out of service by 2010. As of 2017 Hawaii has 114 commercial wind turbines in the state with a total capacity of 206 MW.
Hawaii has several biomass electric plants including the 10 MW Honolulu International Airport Emergency Power Facility, the 6.7 MW Green Energy Agricultural Biomass-to-Energy Facility on Kauai, and the 6.6 MW waste-to-energy Honua Power Project on Oahu. The 21.5 MW Hu Honua plant came online in 2016. Wärtsilä sold Hawaii Electric to be installed at Schofield Barracks Army Base on Oahu in 2017. The plant can run on solid or gas fuels including biomass.
A pilot wave energy project Azura concluded a six week test in the north shore of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu in 2012.
Cellana produces oil from algae at a 2.5 hectares (6.2 acres) research site at Kailua-Kona on Hawaii island. Microalgae have significant potential as an energy crop, with the levels of oil production per acre potentially far exceeding that of vegetable oil crops. Cellana (previously called HR BioPetroleum) worked with Royal Dutch Shell on a pilot facility to grow algae on land leased from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, which is located on the west shore of Hawaii island.
- Popovich, Nadja (2018-12-24). "How Does Your State Make Electricity?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
- "Hawaii Energy Facts & Figures" (PDF). Hawaii State Energy Office. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- U.S. Energy Information Administration. Electric Power Monthly, Table 5.6.A. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector by State, October 2016 and 2015, December 23, 2016.
- "Hawaii - State Energy Profile Overview - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". www.eia.gov. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
- "2017 Energy Facts and Figures" (PDF). energy.hawaii.gov. June 2018.
- Homebuilders skirt solar law More than 20% of new homes use loophole to avoid adding solar, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Alan Yonan Jr., Jan 09, 2011
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- "Rail Facts - All FAQ's | Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation". Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- Cook Lauer, Nancy (December 24, 2018). "Honolulu Rail Project Struggles to Stay on Track".
- "Power Facts". www.hawaiianelectric.com.
- "Can Hawaii go 100% Renewable?". January 12, 2017.
- Geuss, Megan (March 8, 2017). "Kauai is moving from diesel generators to renewable energy with help from Tesla". Ars Technica.
- Wind Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company, 2013
- Work resumes at Hu Honua; CEO: ‘We are now fully back on site’ Archived 2015-02-05 at the Wayback Machine, West Hawaii Today, January 15, 2015
- Wartsila to provide 50 MW plant to bioenergy project in Hawaii, Biomass Magazine, Erin Voegele, December 02, 2014
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- THE NAVY AND PRIVATE COMPANIES COLLABORATE TO TURN WAVE ENERGY INTO ELECTRICITY, Hawaii Business, Beverly Creamer, July, 2014