NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: On The Way To 100% New Energy In Hawaii


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    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    TODAY’S STUDY: On The Way To 100% New Energy In Hawaii

    Hawai‘i 2016 Energy Report Card

    October 2016 (Blue Planet Foundation)


    Blue Planet Foundation’s fourth annual energy report card presents a big-picture assessment of Hawai‘i’s progress toward energy independence with 100 percent clean energy. By evaluating fi ve key components—transportation, energy effi ciency, renewables, smart grid, and economics—and tracking specifi c factors that infl uence them, we can identify bright spots and opportunities to improve. These grades refl ect our clean energy progress through the end of 2015


    Overall Progress: Annual Fossil Fuel Consumption

    Total fossil fuel consumption in Hawai‘i is still declining, refl ecting our progress toward 100 percent clean energy. But we are falling a little short of the target. More clean energy can get us back on track for energy independence by 2040.


    Primary Metric Energy Consumption Per Capita

    Effi ciency is still our cheapest and easiest form of clean energy. This chart measures effi ciency by examining Hawai‘i’s per capita consumption of energy since 1990. Hawai‘i’s effi ciency grade is driven by the electricity-related factors identifi ed here as well as the factors identifi ed in the Transportation section. We are on track.

    Renewable Energy

    Renewable Energy As % Of Total Electricity Sales

    This chart shows the state’s progress to 100% renewable electricity. We are on track, but we need continued steady progress of about 3% per year. This means laying the groundwork each and every year for renewable capacity that will be installed in the future.

    What About Renewable Generating Capacity? Outlook & Opportunities Factor No.1 Renewable Generating Capacity

    Existing renewable generating capacity is adapted from State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economics & Tourism’s 2016 Energy Facts & Figures and utility reports. The energy independence target assumes that approximately 3,055 MW of new nameplate generating capacity will be required by 2040. Population data is from the 2014 State of Hawai‘i Data Book, and assumes approximately linear growth to 2040.

    Solar Power Is Leading The Charge.

    In 2014 and 2015, rooftop and utility-scale solar overtook wind as the state’s top renewable resource. What’s the plan? An engineering study out of the University of Hawai‘i showed several paths to 100% renewable electricity using existing and established technologies.

    Low Carbon Can Also Mean Low Cost.

    According to the engineering study, this 100% mix could provide energy 17% cheaper than the average cost of oil over the last 5 years: What’s missing? Clean transportation is a key. 100% renewable electricity will probably need a large fleet of electric vehicles helping to stabilize the grid.

    Hawai‘I Is Ready For A 100% Clean Transportation Target.

    Rooftops are driving Hawai‘i’s clean energy success.

    They Currently Provide 7 Times More Power Than Utility-Scale Solar Farms.

    A University of Hawai‘i economics study estimated that household solar roofs could supply 1,100 megawatts of generating capacity. Commercial rooftops could add to the mix. Despite this potential, the growth of rooftop solar has slowed. In 2015, Hawai‘i became the fi rst state in the nation to close the netenergy metering program. The replacement program is almost full. What’s next?

    Smart Grid

    Primary Metric Flexiwatts “Flexiwatts” are a measure of fl exible supply and demand that can be used to balance the grid. This chart combines fl exibility from two sources. Demand response allows the utility or its customers to momentarily dial back energy for non-essential demands. Energy storage can soak up excess renewable energy, and then inject that energy back onto the grid to serve peak demand.

    What About Energy Storage? Outlook & Opportunities Batteries Are Changing The Game.

    KIUC has signed on a “dispatchable solar” project that will use batteries to provide solar power at night — at a cost lower than the recent cost of fuel. Residential battery systems are also gaining traction.

    Energy Storage Can Come In Many Forms. For example, Kapi‘olani Medical Center is using ice storage to charge its air conditioning system, and expects to save millions of dollars in energy and demand charges.

    Battery costs are falling fast, around 20% per year. Hawaiian Electric forecasts that battery costs will decline more than 50% in the next 15 years. Lazard investment bank is projecting the same decline in the next 5 years. To capture these lower costs, we need new energy pricing signals for customers.

    Energy Storage

    A University of Hawai‘i engineering analysis found that hydrogen energy storage could be a key solution for lower energy costs by balancing the seasonal changes in solar power.

    What About Electric Vehicles? Outlook & Opportunities

    Electric vehicle registration data compiled from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Target trend is adapted from the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Roadmap 2011, calling for 10,000 electric vehicles by 2015 and 40,000 by 2020, and forecasts a growth curve similar to that observed for hybrid vehicles.

    32% of Hawai‘i residents say that they are thinking about buying an EV. 53% haven’t already bought an EV because of perceptions about price. Yet owning the most popular ev (nissan leaf) costs less than owning the most popular gasoline passenger vehicle (Toyota Camry). Research from the University of Hawai‘i found that in a 100% renewable energy system with high EV adoption, smart ev charging can lower energy costs by more than $200 million each year. San Diego Gas & Electric is installing 3,500 EV chargers, focusing on businesses and multi-unit housing sites. 10% will be installed in disadvantaged communities. Hawai‘i can do the same.

    Energy Economics

    Comparison of renewable & fossil fuel energy costs

    Fossil fuel energy costs based on three-year average of fuel cost data reported in the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Monthly Energy Trends, and includes only fuel costs. Cost of electricity from utility-scale renewable resources derived from prices agreed upon in recent Power Purchase Agreements approved by the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC), or prices of proposed projects refl ected in recent PUC fi lings: Wind – Na Pua Makani, O‘ahu; Geothermal – PGV Expansion, Hawai‘i; Municipal Solid Waste – HPower Expansion, O‘ahu; Solar – Proposed O‘ahu “Waiver” projects. Where applicable/available, costs include capacity charge and an assumed apportionment between on-peak and off-peak rates.

    Geothermal Municipal Solid Waste Solar Wind Oil (Fuel Cost Only) Diesel (Fuel Cost Only)

    In 2013 and 2014, Hawaiian Electric obtained proposals for near-term utility scale renewable energy, and selected 250 MW at record-low prices. Disappointingly, nearly all of those projects have been canceled or disapproved. This is a missed opportunity for stable energy prices. Consumers are driving the rooftop solar revolution. In the last fi ve years, these private individuals have leveraged federal support to contribute $1 billion toward clean, local, fixed-cost energy in Hawai‘i.

    Cost of oil per kWh generated is a linear regression of data from State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism Monthly Energy Trends, and includes only fuel costs. Cost of electricity generated from distributed solar power is a linear regression of data from stated solar photovoltaic system costs compiled from City and County of Honolulu solar photovoltaic building permits and DBEDT, along with estimated solar photovoltaic capacity installed annually in the City and County of Honolulu from data in HECO net-energy metering reports. Solar photovoltaic cost per kWh is based on assumed maintenance cost totaling 15% of reported initial system cost, 18% capacity factor, 20% capacity degradation over the life of the system, and 30-year system life.

    Only 5% of Hawai‘i residents think we should use the cheapest energy, no matter where it comes from. 95% think other factors are important, like protecting the environment and securing local jobs.

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