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The Potential of Renewable Energy to Reduce the Dependence of the State of Hawaii on Oil

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4 Author(s)
Arent, D. ; Nat. Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO ; Barnett, J. ; Mosey, G. ; Wise, A.

Deriving nearly 90% of its primary energy resources from oil, the State of Hawaii is more dependent on oil than any other U.S. state. The price of electricity in Hawaii is also more than twice the U.S. average. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directed assessment of the economic implications of Hawaii's oil dependence and the feasibility of using renewable energy to help meet the state's electrical generation and transportation fuel use. This paper is based on the assessments and report prepared in response to that directive.Current total installed electrical capacity for the State of Hawaii is 2,414 MWe, 83% of which is fuel-oil generated, but already including about 170 MWe of renewable capacity. The assessments identified about 2,133 MWe (plus another estimated 2,000 MWe of rooftop PV systems) of potential new renewable energy capacity. Most notable, in addition to the rooftop solar potential, is 750 MWe and 140 MWe of geothermal potential on Hawaii and Maui, respectively, 840 MWe of potential wind capacity, primarily on Lanai and Molokai, and one potential 285 MWe capacity specific solar project (PV or solar thermal) identified on Kauai. Important social, political, and electrical-grid infrastructure challenges would need to be overcome to realize this potential. Among multiple crop and acreage scenarios, biofuels assessment found 360,000 acres in Hawaii zoned for agriculture and appropriate for sugarcane, enough to produce 429 million gallons of ethanol-enough to meet about 64% of current 2005 Hawaiian gasoline use. Tropical oil seed crops-potentially grown on the same land-might meet a substantial portion of current diesel use, but there has been little experience growing such crops in Hawaii. The U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii initiated in January 2008 a program that seeks to reduce Hawaii's oil dependence and provide 70% of the state's primary energy from clean energy sources by 2030. The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) activities w- - ill be concentrated in two areas: 1) HCEI Working Groups will be formed and made up of private, state, and U.S. government experts in the areas of Transportation and Fuels, Electricity Generation, Energy Delivery and Transmission, and End-Use Efficiency; and 2) Partnership Projects will be undertaken with local and mainland partners that demonstrate and commercialize new technologies and relieve technical barriers.

Published in:

System Sciences, 2009. HICSS '09. 42nd Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 Jan. 2009