-- Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) – Transitional fuel or replacement to oil?
-- Undersea Cable - Will it work? Is it worth it?
-- Is locally sourced biofuels a reality?
-- Hawaii’s Energy Efficiency & Solar Industries: Rising or setting?
The event was hosted by the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum with support from Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company, DBEDT and Think Tech Hawaii. Thanks to all the speakers and attendees!
Photos of the event are posted here .
We recently received this heartwarming note from a Blue Planet supporter who devoted her time, creativity, and money to advocate for Hawaii's clean energy future:
Hi, I am a sixth grader from Kamehameha Elementary School. I chose to make recycled can tab bracelets and sell them to raise money for this cause, as a part of my service learning project. I collected the can tabs from friends and family, and my mom donated the Lucky Color Gum elastics from her business. I recruited my mom along with a couple of friends, and we made the bracelets. I am also a girl scout, so during cookie booth sales I sold bracelets as well. I made sure to mention the Blue Planet Foundation and your goal. I created a sign to advertise the bracelets and this foundation. In total, I dedicated 15 hours and 40 minutes of service. Because of this, today I am able to donate all $140 I raised!
Thank you for your dedication, Aya!
It's a good question. Let's do the first order approximation.
First, how much electricity to we use? According to the DBEDT energy trends, we use about 10 terawatt-hours (TWhs) of electricity annually. In fact, 10125.94 gigawatt-hours (GWhs) in 2009, 10013.10 GWhs in 2010, and about 9985.55 GWhs in 2011. So that's our (hopefully shrinking) target.
Second, how many roofs do we have to cover? Let's just look at residential. According to the 2011 US Census, Hawaii has 519,508 housing units, 39.2% of which are multi-family. So let's just look at the single family units (we'll be more conservative here and more generous elsewhere). So that gives us 315,861 single-family home rooftops. Now let's say for each rooftop we can fit a 4 kilowatt (kW) system. This is probably being a bit generous, given the size and possible shading issues. With all those rooftops tiled with 4 kW of PV each, we have 1,263,443 kWs, or 1263 MWs of PV (which, BTW, approaches the total system capacity on Oahu).
Of course, the sun isn't always shining. In fact, for PV, the "capacity factor" is between 15% and 20%--meaning that at any given moment you will have able to produce between about 15% and 20% of the rated PV capacity. Let's use the generous 20%. For our rooftops this means (20% X 1263) 253 MW of PV capacity. Now we can look at the total production over one year (at the already "de-rated" PV installation). So 253 MW X 8760 hours in a year = 2,213,553 MWhs, or 2,214 GWhs, or 2.2 TWhs. This would provide about 22% of our overall electricity use.
This 22% is probably conservative--we ignored all of the commercial rooftops. Plus we are seeing more and more large ground-mounted PV arrays (usually in 5 MW blocks because that is the largest size before the utility needs to competitively bid). Nonetheless, it reminds us that we need a mix of renewable energy sources. And yes, we hope to shave our 10 TWhs of usage by 30% come 2030 (the HCEI target), but we're also adding a bunch of electric vehicles to the grid (which could just cancel out that efficiency gain--which is fine for the big picture).
By the way, any guess of how much all of that PV would cost? About $10 billion. It would pay for itself in about 13 years.
Go out there and make history Featured
Many out there may not know the story behind how Blue Planet Foundation came to be. Our founder Henk Rogers delivered the commencement address at University of Hawai‘i last Saturday, Dec. 17, and in his speech, he talks about why he started Blue Planet Foundation. It's a really inspiring speech. Go Henk! Read on...
Funny comment on facebook! Want to learn more about the PUC's ruling on 14H? Here's the news release we sent out. Also here's Alan Yonan, Jr.'s story in the Star-Advertiser, and Sophie Cocke's article in Civil Beat. These interconnection-related issues are among the regulations that govern the addition of new renewable systems to the grid.