Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads – Part 2: How Much Renewable Energy?

How Much Renewable Energy?

There is much at stake for Hawai’i, including enormous rooftop solar potential that could push each island much closer 100% renewable electricity (below). Most islands could get 20-30 percent more of their electricity from rooftop solar alone.

According to the state, each island also has renewable energy options beyond rooftop solar (below). 

It appears that each island has the renewable energy to meet its annual electricity needs and then some – except O’ahu, that is. But the chart above, drawn from numbers in an NREL report, overlooks a number of opportunities the island could tap.

According to utility documents, HECO’s yearly demand is likely to drop more than 1,000 gigawatt-hours by 2030, largely through energy efficiency. Based on findings from the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission, O’ahu’s demand could drop further – to 5,000 GWh per year by 2030 – if deeper yet economically viable efficiency standards are implemented. (Similar additional savings could be realized on other islands.)

This is part two of Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads, a report released in October 2015 about the tough choices facing the islanders as they stand on the cusp of an electric grid transformation. Read part 1, published earlier this week and stayed tuned for part 3 next week. The full report was originally posted at ilsr.org.

For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update. 

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