Hawaiian Electric renewable energy use increased last year

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Electric’s use of renewable energy in 2019 increased over 2018 despite the unavailability of geothermal energy production on the Big Island and significantly lower wind energy production, the company said.

Hawaiian Electric said energy generated by renewable resources increased by 156,064 megawatt-hours in 2019, a 6.7% increase from the previous year, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

The company achieved a 28.4% consolidated renewable portfolio standard in 2019, surpassing 27% in 2018.

The state set a goal for 2045 of a 100% renewable portfolio standard, which is based on the amount of renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales.

Hawaii must reach 30% by the end of 2020, 40% by the end of 2030, and 70% by the end of 2040 to stay on track, the company said.

Senior Vice President Jim Alberts said in a statement that Hawaiian Electric is expected to meet a 30% renewable portfolio standard by the end of 2020.

“We gained some strong momentum going into the end of 2019 with the surge of grid and rooftop solar and we fully expect Puna Geothermal Venture to be back online before long, so that would push us past 30%.”

Puna Geothermal Venture is attempting to resume normal operations after wells were isolated or covered by lava in the Kilauea volcano eruption that began in May 2018.

An increase in rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and grid-scale solar projects helped Hawaiian Electric increase its renewable energy percentage.

Oahu increased to a 25% renewable portfolio standard from 22% the previous year. Maui County achieved 41% with its mix of solar, wind and biofuels, up from 38% in 2018.

  1. truth be known February 16, 2020 1:43 pm Reply

    The obvious answer to zero greenhouse emissions is to use 4th generation breeder nuclear reactors that are completely fail-safe, use spent nuclear waste as fuel, generate very little waste material which is easily confined and stored and most importantly, emit NO greenhouse gasses. Ironically, the oil and natural gas industries are promoting solar, wind, geothermal and wave generators knowing full well that they will never generate enough energy to power the world’s ever increasing demand for electrical power. This, of course, necessitates the continued use of their fuels to supplement off-peak production. Nuclear energy, which, by the way, powers the universe, will supply a limitless and continual supply of cheap energy which scares the pants off of big oil and gas. Watch the last 15 minutes of the series “Inside the Mind of Bill Gates” to get a real insight into this concept. Also check out “Pandora’s Promise” on U-Tube. Safe nuclear power is the ultimate solution! 12 cents a kilowatt hour, 1/4th of what we’re paying here on Kauai, is the going rate in other parts of the world. Check it out and make an intelligent decision.

  2. truth be known February 17, 2020 1:04 pm Reply

    One final thought. The battery back-up systems required to provide off peak energy at night or when the wind dies has a life of 15-20 years. After that they will need to be replaced. Right now 1 Tesla battery is $10,000 and the number of batteries required to sustain a population of 100,000 people (estimated population of Kauai in 20 years) is not for the faint of heart! In other words, be prepared to continue paying what you are paying now for electricity for the foreseeable future. Just know there are other choices.

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