Hawaii releases annual energy report

By Anna Simet | December 29, 2016

The Hawaii State Energy Office has released its annual energy report documenting progress toward its renewable energy and energy efficiency goals, particularly its renewable portfolio standard goal of 100 percent by 2045.

The 91-page report includes a map of the locations of the state’s 65 renewable energy projects, which include biomass, biofuels, wind, ocean, geothermal, solar, waste-to-energy and hydroelectric, and data indicating growth in each respective renewable sector.

According to the report, Hawaii achieved 23.4 percent renewable energy in 2015, up 2.3 percent from 2014, with the most notable advances occurring in the solar and wind sectors. Biomass experienced a slight dip in its share of Hawaii’s renewable energy supply, dropping from 21.7 percent to 19.2 percent. Biofuels increased slightly from 1.9 percent to 2.4 percent. Distributed PV rose from 27.3 percent to 31 percent, wind dropped from 29.1 percent to 27.9 percent, geothermal dropped from 12.3 percent to 10.5 percent, and hydro and commercial solar experienced less than a 1 percent change.

The utility achieving the highest increase in renewables share over the year was the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, which increased its renewable portfolio from 17.5 percent in 2014 to 27.3 percent in 2015. Part of that increase was due to Green Energy Team’s 7.5-MW biomass power plant coming online earlier this summer, which the utility has contracted a PPA with and provides over 10 percent of the island of Kauai’s power needs.

The report notes that for the fifth year in a row, the Energy Services Coalition ranked Hawaii first in the nation in government energy performance contracting for 2016. Hawaii’s $325.25 per capita investment beat out second place Kentucky ($172.84), third place Delaware ($154.47) and far outpaced the national average ($53.93).

The report also lists each island’s renewable energy demand, and potential by generation source. While Oahu has the most demand by far, Maui has slightly more potential.

Other information included delves into the transportation sector and decarbonization and efficiency efforts, as well as policy advancements during the past year.