In Hawaii: An Option Evaluation Process for Rapidly Achieving 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Imagine you are sipping your morning beverage 10 years from now. You open your source of news and learn that Hawaii has just achieved 100 percent renewable energy, generated from renewable sources indigenous to Hawaii and delivered through the grid to serve stationary loads. You wonder, “How did they do it?”

You read that Hawaii’s principal electric utility, Hawaiian Electric, implemented 1,000 MW of energy cost-saving renewable energy options over the first four years of the last 10 years. During those first four years, they implemented 600 MW of energy cost-saving demand-side management (DSM) options. The 600 MW of DSM options delivered grid performance benefits that allowed them to implement 400 MW of energy cost-saving renewable generation options.

It turned out that when the people at Hawaiian Electric evaluated the energy cost savings benefits of renewable energy options in a way those benefits could be compared — they realized that they could implement more than 1,000 MW of renewable energy options to deliver energy cost savings for the utility’s customers.

Once they realized that, the game was on — figuring out what renewable energy options in what amounts in what order they could implement to deliver optimal benefits (including energy cost savings benefits) for the utility’s customers. The people at Hawaiian Electric were excited by the benefits resulting from the renewable energy options they implemented. They were enthused to use knowledge gained — from and during their most recent implementation of options — to re-evaluate options faster to implement options faster to deliver benefits faster for the utility’s customers.

Implementing that first 1,000 MW of energy cost-saving renewable energy options increased Hawaiian Electric’s earnings and lowered its risk. The shareholder value of Hawaiian Electric doubled over those first four years because of its improved earnings and lowered risk and because investors liked the idea of investing in the world’s first 100 percent renewable investor-owned utility.

Those benefits included the energy security benefits of implementing renewable energy options to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. You read the next story in your news source. It’s about the collapse of oil imports to the U.S. Hawaiian Electric achieved 100 percent renewable energy just in time.

The Opportunity

Hawaiian Electric has an opportunity to rapidly achieve 100 percent renewable energy because Hawaiian Electric has a wealth of renewable energy options that either increase the numerator or decrease the denominator of measuring renewable energy as a percentage of total energy consumption, and that — if implemented now — could be counted on to deliver these benefits for the utility’s customers:

  • energy cost savings
  • grid performance
  • energy security
  • environmental preservation

The people at Hawaiian Electric have not yet capitalized on the opportunity to rapidly achieve 100 percent renewable energy, and it’s not for lack of renewable energy options that deliver energy cost savings, grid performance, energy security and environmental preservation benefits for the utility’s customers.

They have not yet capitalized on the opportunity because they have not yet become persuaded (and have not yet come into consensus) on a planning process (called an “option evaluation process”) through which they:

  1. Evaluate the benefits of renewable energy options available to them
  2. Compare the benefits of those renewable energy options
  3. Persuade themselves (and are in consensus) what renewable energy options in what amounts in what order they want to deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers

Without consensus on such an option evaluation process, the people at Hawaiian Electric cannot be expected to make consensus decisions to implement renewable energy options that deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers and rapidly achieve 100 percent renewable energy.

When the people at Hawaiian Electric become persuaded and come into consensus on such an option evaluation process, they can be counted on to persuade themselves and make plans that articulate what renewable energy options in what amounts in what order they want to deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers and rapidly achieve 100 percent renewable energy.

When the people at Hawaiian Electric come into consensus on such an option evaluation process, they can be counted on to persuade themselves and make consensus decisions about what tariffs and what interconnection standards they want to procure renewable energy options that deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers.

When the people at Hawaiian Electric come into consensus on such an option evaluation process, they can be counted on to make consensus decisions to implement renewable energy options that deliver optimal benefits (energy cost savings, grid performance, energy security and environmental preservation) for Hawaiian Electric’s customers and rapidly achieve 100 percent renewable energy, and to measure the benefits realized from implementation of those options.

When the people at Hawaiian Electric persuade themselves (and come into consensus) on implementing renewable energy options that deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers, they can be counted on to accelerate their implementation of such renewable energy options. Their implementation of renewable energy options accelerates because they are excited by the results of implementing options that deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers.

Excited people are enthused to use knowledge gained — from and during the most recent implementation of options — to re-evaluate options faster to implement options faster to deliver benefits faster for the utility’s customers.

That virtuous loop is called an implementation accelerator. People at Hawaiian Electric are excited by the results, and they are enthused to do more — to re-evaluate options faster to implement options faster to deliver benefits faster.

Here is what an option evaluation process, leading to an implementation accelerator, might look like:

When the people at Hawaiian Electric come into consensus on such an option evaluation process, they can be counted on to make consensus decisions to implement renewable energy options that deliver optimal benefits for the utility’s customers and rapidly achieve 100 percent renewable energy.

Lead image credit: depositphotos.com

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