Hawaii Five-Oy!


Not to be outdone by California and New York, policy makers in Hawaii join in the long march to unreliable electrical grids.

Clarice Feldman writes:

In person and on a small scale I rather like Big Thinkers. My beloved maternal grandfather was one of them. He did things like build a large boat in his small backyard and then when completed realized he had no way to get it out of there until a kindly neighbor with the right equipment helped him tear down a fence and remove it. They towed the boat to Lake Michigan where it immediately sank, overloaded as it was grandpa’s  handmade metal framed pictures of his ten grandchildren.

But you don’t want people like that in the public sphere, deciding public policy. I’ve often made fun of the Big Thinkers in California whose grandiose plans to control the climate  are wildly impractical — the name for them is “central planners.” But California’s not the only state that’s placed big thinkers in  public positions, and unless things change, the lovely islands of Hawaii will now soon face blackouts at their hands.

Unless an energy law there is changed Hawaiians may well be  be moving about by outrigger canoes instead of their electric vehicles, cooling themselves by hand-held fans  and working by sunlight and starlight. Hawaii was the first state to mandate a full transition to renewable energy when in 2015 its then-governor signed that mandate into law. By September of next year the law requires that 100 percent of electricity sales  must be from renewable energy.

AES Hawaii, the state’s last coal fired plant  — it supplies 15 to 20 percent of the islands’ electricity — is preparing to shut down to meet the law. Among the replacements planned was the Kapolei Energy Storage Facility, to be built by the state’s largest supplier of electricity, Hawaiian Electric. Like grandpa’s boat locked in his backyard, this plan has run into a number of obstacles, foremost among which is reality. “If there is not enough solar, wind, or battery storage energy to replace the AES plant, HECO would have to use oil instead to charge things like the upcoming 185-megawatt Kapolei Energy Storage Facility,” Pacific Business News reported.

It’s not a matter of “if,” however. The reality is there’s not enough wind, solar, or battery storage to replace the AES plant. Hawaiian Electric has made this quite clear in recent documents, noting that it would not be able to meet its year-two renewable target (75 percent) for “more than a decade.” This means that to replace its soon-to-be retired coal plant, Hawaii Electric will soon be charging its giant battery … with oil. In other words, Hawaiians will be trading one fossil fuel (coal) for another, albeit one far more expensive.

This revelation caused the chair of PUC, Jay Griffin, to complain that Hawaiians are “going from cigarettes to crack.” Said he: “Oil prices don’t have to be much higher for this to look like the highest increase people will have experienced. And it’s not acceptable. We have to do better.”

How exactly can you do better, if I may be bold enough to ask?

Of course, it’s goofy to allow central planners to decide to switch from an efficient, reliable, less expensive way to generate electricity to a more expensive unreliable means by a near-specific date, but as certain as central planning is always a mistake is that in the view of central planners and their proponents the fault always lies elsewhere. Kind of like Stalinists blaming engineers for being unable to meet production quotas, ignoring that they had been denied the basic production supplies.

With the finger pointing in full swing:

For its part, Hawaiian Electric says some project delays were attributable to “a slow permitting process of getting models and information from prospective developers, often outside of HECO’s control”.

Of course the Hawaiian PUC points the finger back at the company.

Jay Griffin, chairman of the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission, points the finger at the company’s lack of urgency and foresight, but conceded that “each of these projects must go through numerous steps, including government approvals/permitting and technical review of interconnection to the electrical grid before they are able to go online. These require coordination across numerous involved stakeholders, including the Commission.”

Read the full article here.

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June 5, 2021 6:11 pm

How long does this battery supply power?

Reply to  Derg
June 5, 2021 6:28 pm

They just go to 7-11 and by a Ray-O-Vac.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Mike Smith
June 6, 2021 7:41 am

In Hawaii, it’s the ABC stores NOT 7-11. 😀

Reply to  Derg
June 5, 2021 7:05 pm

No time as of now, since they’ve not figured out how to charge them. But the picture in the linked article (showing cleared dirt ground, and not a real plant) lists it as designed for 185 MW / 565 MWh — so roughly about three hours max, at a stretch? That’s the advertised design spec, for a vacant building site, with no batteries bought yet, and no information about real output capacity, maintenance schedules, engineering overbuild, or project budget overruns still-to-come. Experience says about 20 minutes, once, before a hurricane takes it out.

Last edited 1 year ago by dk_
Reply to  dk_
June 5, 2021 7:22 pm

I followed the link.
Plan A: 185 MW / 565 MWh from an empty lot. Buy popcorn, this is going to be good.

Plan B: (H/T to Nick Stokes): The island gets 63% of it’s power from oil. So the battery is for leveling. They charge at night by running the oil plants somewhat harder, and soak up some peak demand during the day.
So again, they have replaced cheap coal with expensive oil. The way they chose to do the substitution requires a huge commercial battery installation, which is hugely expensive.

I would not let these people run a lemonade stand.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  TonyL
June 5, 2021 8:29 pm

Which Hawaiian politician’s son-in-law owns the only oil importing business to the islands?

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
June 5, 2021 10:27 pm

Oh, but don’t worry, they can always draw on the Navy’s stocks at Pearl Harbor to make up shortfalls.

(not sure if /sarc or /cynicism goes here …)

Willem post
Reply to  dk_
June 6, 2021 5:32 am


Batteries are charged to about 80% and discharged to about 20%, for long useful life; 565 x 0.6 MWh, would be available on a daily basis.

But you have to FEED TO THE BATTERY FROM THE GRID about 565 x 0.6 x 1/0.8, because of about a 20% round trip loss.

In Hawaii, the turnkey cost of the battery system would be about 565 x 1000 x 1000/kWh = 565 million. It would last about 15 years.

The idiocy of all this is totally beyond the very limited understanding of dreamy politicians and self-styled, liberal arts major “central planners”

AOC and Biden’s handlers come to mind.

Reply to  Willem post
June 6, 2021 3:42 pm

When does AOC’s high speed train roll into Hawaii?

not you
Reply to  Scissor
June 8, 2021 10:03 am

there is an agenda 21 ‘light rail’ boondoggle under construction for the last 10 years on oahu

it goes from nowhere to nowhere, eventually 21 miles with 20 stations

it won’t be running until 2031

original estimate to build – 3 billion current estimate $12,5 billion with a 3 billion shortfall

somehow the wheel are too small and the track is too big

the cars are already 5+ years old

Reply to  dk_
June 8, 2021 8:12 am

The batteries are there to give the grid a nice Hawaiian punch. Surrrrrre.

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Derg
June 5, 2021 8:30 pm

Until it is powerless.

June 5, 2021 6:11 pm

Thank God they have a very temperate climate.

Reply to  tommyboy
June 5, 2021 6:51 pm

They’re one tanker away from the stone age.

Reply to  SMC
June 5, 2021 10:30 pm

But the tanker will be wind and solar powered, won’t it?

Doug Huffman
Reply to  RayG
June 6, 2021 3:32 am

Remember Water World‘s Exon Valdez

Last edited 1 year ago by Doug Huffman
Reply to  tommyboy
June 5, 2021 7:21 pm

Maybe they could tame a volcano?

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 5, 2021 8:31 pm

Super Surprised they aren’t persuing geothermal. Not better than coal or gas, but should be better than wind or solar panels.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  PCman999
June 5, 2021 9:02 pm

Sure, just put a lid on Kīlauea and you’re good to go.

Smart Rock
Reply to  PCman999
June 5, 2021 9:11 pm

There was a geothermal plant on the Big Island, but I think I read that it was overrun with lava during an eruption a couple of years ago. And one of their wells had run into a magma chamber.

Hawaii also has some hydro power potential.

And the wind blows 24/7. If they can’t make wind power work there with almost constant wind and a benign climate, it will never work anywhere.

Reply to  Smart Rock
June 5, 2021 9:31 pm
Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Smart Rock
June 6, 2021 4:37 am

Puna’s full capacity is 38 MW. This is quite a small production considering the cost of the equipment and facility. Add ten of these and the coal plant is replaced. I bet they cost more. Obviously, nuclear is the only reasonable option but won’t be considered.

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
June 8, 2021 9:55 am

I like nuclear, but not on a volcanic island chain.

Brent Qually
Reply to  Smart Rock
June 6, 2021 11:01 am

The wind doesn’t blow 24/7. I have watched the windmills above Maalaea, Maui, from my lanai over the years. They are oriented to turn during Trade Wind events which occur about 90% of the time in the summer, but only about 50% in the winter. Also, when there are Trades they don’t kick-in until about 10:00 in the morning and then go quiet at sunset, so they power the windmills for only about 8 hours per 24 when they are present. The nearby fossil fuel generating station always has steam rising from at least one of its stacks.

Reply to  PCman999
June 5, 2021 9:28 pm
not you
Reply to  PCman999
June 8, 2021 10:05 am

there is a little geothermal on the big island which is hundreds of miles away from oahu

M Courtney
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 6, 2021 1:29 am

Geothermal is baseload providing renewable energy.
The only problem is that there aren’t many places on the planet where the heat is near enough to the surface to be economically viable.
However, Hawaii is one of those places.

Reply to  M Courtney
June 6, 2021 1:42 pm

The islands are geographically newer as you go east; Hawai`i (the Big Island) has active volcanos. The next island west, Maui, is said to have had an active volcano several hundred years ago, while Oahu (further west) and Kauai (still further west) haven’t been active for tens of millennia at least. Between most of the islands is deep water (thousands of feet). Geothermal energy production would certainly work on the Big Island; will it work on the other islands, or would electricity generated on one island need to be transmitted by large power cables laid in deep water?

Reply to  mcswelll
June 6, 2021 8:30 pm

Problem is the demand centre is Honolulu on Oahu. There’s trivial demand for power on the Big Island given his heavily spread out small population, no industrial load and large amounts of land which cannot be used because of US Defence Department restrictions.

Dave Fair
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 6, 2021 9:41 am

Immediate visual image: Central Planners (appropriately garbed) tossing a virgin into the volcano.

Reply to  Dave Fair
June 7, 2021 1:36 am

“tossing a virgin into the volcano.”

where would they find one ?

Reply to  saveenergy
June 8, 2021 1:41 pm

Bill Nye

Reply to  tommyboy
June 5, 2021 9:28 pm

We could use painted on thermometers at our 2000′ elevation. One at 75° for the day and 65° for nights.

Robert of Texas
June 5, 2021 6:32 pm

They can start throwing all their trees into wood chippers for fuel. When that runs out they can dry out and then burn pineapples. Meanwhile this should solve any problem of too many people moving to Hawaii…everyone will be leaving.

You can’t run a tourist economy without reliable power. They have yet to replace all cars with electric vehicles which I suspect will require electricity to charge. All the aircraft will need to be banned until they have all electric ones available.

For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on…I suspect they will just declare victory and then try to forget about their timeline. You know, like all the other climate nut-jobs do.

June 5, 2021 6:34 pm

“it supplies 15 to 20 percent of the islands’ electricity” One wonders, from where do Hawaiians get the other 80 to 85% from?

Reply to  eck
June 5, 2021 6:58 pm

comment image

Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 5, 2021 8:59 pm

So all they need to do to declare total “greenness” is to re-badge coal as “pre-burnt biomass”, and re-badge petrol as “reclaimed oil spill cleanup”?

Too easy!

Reply to  Mr.
June 6, 2021 9:59 am

Nick is your man for that job he can redefine anything.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 6, 2021 2:10 am

The most startling thing in this pie chart (thanks, Nick) is the percentage contribution of geothermal: 0.0%. How can that be, on an island (Hawaii, the big island) replete with lava flows expressing thermal power in the tens of gigawatts range? (spoiler alert: geothermal is really, really difficult from an engineering point of view, and impossible in the face of “Green” opposition).

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
June 6, 2021 4:35 am

I suspect that chart is for the entire state of Hawaii, not just Hawaii county (the big island where the active volcano is). The geothermal plant was evacuated and shut down and partly damaged during the height of the eruption; it is partially back in service but supplying less than before.

Biggest population is on Oahu, next biggest is Maui, so most of the power generated and consumed is on those islands. There is no intertie between Hawaii and Oahu and I don’t believe there is one to Maui either, so the Hawaii geothermal plant is only used to supply that island and doesn’t do anything for demand on the other islands.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 6, 2021 5:37 am

But…but…can’t they just generate green hydrogen to ship off to Oahu and Maui?

Just kidding. I wasn’t aware of the damage to the big island geothermal plant, so thank you for this post. It does reinforce my statement that geothermal is really, really difficult.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael S. Kelly
Willem post
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 6, 2021 5:41 am

As an island grid, the variables percentage, wind, solar, are about maxed out, because the oil plants would be fully busy with counteracting variations.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Nick Stokes
June 6, 2021 9:50 am

Thanks for the chart, Nick.

June 5, 2021 6:49 pm

1) They are shutting down the last coal fired power plant.
2) The replacement “clean + green” power systems are not ready.
All tied up in a quagmire of red tape. (Who could have seen that one coming?)
3) In the interim, they will use vastly more expensive oil.

Why is the coal-to-oil conversion project not buried in red tape just like the others.
Converting a coal plant to oil is non-trivial. It requires a lot of ripping out and rebuilding. You need approvals and inspections at every step of the project. So where are the bureaucrats and the red tape brigades?
If the coal-to-oil conversion project could be permitted on an expedited ad-hoc basis, why not the same for the “clean + green” power systems.

Perhaps, and this is a big “perhaps”:
Perhaps the coal-to-oil conversion is proceeding without *any* regulatory harassment, because they know any interference at this point, and the lights go out. And That would threaten their pensions. They cannot have that.

oeman 50
Reply to  TonyL
June 5, 2021 7:23 pm

They are not converting the coal plant to oil. They are running their existing diesel and combustion turbines harder to make up the difference. But hey, they got rid of that dirty, dirty, dirty coal didn’t they? Who cares about having 24/7 power? Hang loose!

Bryan A
Reply to  oeman 50
June 5, 2021 9:49 pm

after they shutdown the Coal Generators what will they do for power until back-up is in place?
What will they do


Reply to  Bryan A
June 5, 2021 10:30 pm

What did socialists use before candles? Electricity …

Reply to  Steve
June 6, 2021 4:54 am

Reply to  oeman 50
June 6, 2021 12:55 pm

“They are running their existing diesel and combustion turbines harder to make up the difference”

That would seem slightly concerning – isn’t that going to put more wear on those turbines?

Reply to  TonyL
June 7, 2021 9:20 am

I don’t think there are any coal mines on Hawaii given its volcanic origins, so I suspect it probably is cheaper to ship oil to the islands than to ship coal.

June 5, 2021 6:50 pm

Just dig a very deep hole and tap into all that geothermal. Haleakalā on Maui hasn’t erupted in a half a century but my bet there is still a lot of heat down there. Hurry hurry, time is running out.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  rbabcock
June 5, 2021 7:03 pm

Just a point of clarification, is the hole to extract energy or bury the money used to dig it?

Reply to  Forrest Gardener
June 5, 2021 8:21 pm

Geothermal isn’t stupid for Hawaii, good potential base load.

Reply to  HAS
June 5, 2021 8:31 pm

For electricity?

Reply to  Derg
June 5, 2021 9:04 pm

Why not? NZ produces about 20% of their electricity with geothermal.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  HAS
June 5, 2021 8:37 pm

Which is why geothermal is at 0.0% on Nick’s chart – and wind and solar are at 17.6%.

Non-scientist politicians have heard of wind and solar due to the constant free advertising provided by the eternal Leftist narrative. I doubt many could even explain geothermal.

If geothermal is truly the best engineering/economic solution, then it is a shame that the power generation basket is dictated by mandates from morons.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  rbabcock
June 5, 2021 9:29 pm

There is opposition to geothermal development from Native Hawaiians who believe in Pele, the Volcano Goddess. They understand that geothermal development will injure her and that she will retaliate.

paul courtney
Reply to  Paul Johnson
June 6, 2021 5:33 am

CliSci’s understand the natives perfectly, and they seem to be natural allies! CliSci’s also believe, but in a different goddess- gaia. Their dogma is that CO2 offends her, and will draw her wrath. When they aren’t in group, they change “gaia’s wrath” to “feedbacks and forcings” so it sounds sciency (watch Dr. Fauci explain “genomes” about a year ago, and you can see how it’s done).

Reply to  Paul Johnson
June 6, 2021 10:26 pm

Maori in NZ have been long-term users of geothermal resources (since they got here), and have been significant co-investors in generation.

Reply to  rbabcock
June 5, 2021 11:41 pm

Unfortunately, geothermal is also exhaustible–just look at New Zealand

Reply to  Zeddy
June 6, 2021 10:19 pm

FWIW we are planning on doubling our output from geothermal, and then there’s the prospect of using higher temperature resources. A bore will deplete, but take a lot to deplete a field.

Reply to  rbabcock
June 6, 2021 1:46 pm

I believe it’s been over 500 years since Haleakala erupted. (I realize there may still be heat down there, but it’s hardly a rush.)

Elmer ulmer
June 5, 2021 6:52 pm

i don’t know the first thing about Hawaii energy, and may be wildly off base, but the alternative to goal in well watered tropical and sub tropical climates lacking electricity is charcoal. Anyone who has sailed in remote parts has seen this on arrival in port. The hills are alive with small charcoal kilns. It is a significant cash crop industry. The beauty of coal fired electricity is that it displaces charcoal. I haven’t the data to sort out which is worse. But would guess that burning the rotten east coal is an order of magnitude better than burning local charcoal.

Reply to  Elmer ulmer
June 5, 2021 7:26 pm

“Off base” is correct for several reasons. One being all Hawaiian islands are not replete with tree cover; even some islands with a wet coast are arid on the other coast.

Elmer ulmer
Reply to  Elmer ulmer
June 5, 2021 8:13 pm

The Hawaiian contribution to global CO2 is nil. The way to jack it to a bit more than nil is to eliminate fossil electricity, increasing the dependence on charcoal in smaller communities who will be the quickest to be cut off in power constraints. Two edged sword, but in either swipe the blade has no effect on the world CO2 budget: Hawaii will sequester less carbon and burn more carbon creating and burning charcoal. As for the hotels and commercial districts, &well the square footage required to power Hawaii on solar, or the land and airspace required to run that all on wind, or the pipes and generators and wires to run the tourism industry on solar or tidal currents, is just nonsense. But let them be the first to spectacularly fail, and teach us a lesson.

Reply to  Elmer ulmer
June 6, 2021 2:47 am

Why care about a CO2 budget?

CO2 is life.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Elmer ulmer
June 6, 2021 6:00 am

At least Hawaii is small enough that it’s failure will only hurt people with enough money to travel there on vacation (plus locals of course) and not affect the national economy.

June 5, 2021 7:00 pm

Let them close their 180 MW coal power plant: let’s see if it has any effect on the world’s CO2 meter nearby on Mauna Loa.
Worldwide Covid lockdowns had 0.000% influence, so fingers crossed.

Reply to  Antonym
June 5, 2021 7:10 pm

Don’t give them any ideas now. They have enough stupid ones.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Antonym
June 5, 2021 9:09 pm

Zero to THREE decimal points … now that IS impressive. That’s a lot, right?

CD in Wisconsin
June 5, 2021 7:23 pm

It’s not a matter of “if,” however. The reality is there’s not enough wind, solar, or battery storage to replace the AES plant. Hawaiian Electric has made this quite clear in recent documents, noting that it would not be able to meet its year-two renewable target (75 percent) for “more than a decade.”


Hawaiian Electric (HECO) needs to muster some intestinal fortitude and call the state’s bluff.

The company should make an announcement (which would actually be true) that the politicians’ 100% renewables game plan is irrational and unworkable, especially with the limited availability of land on a mountainous island like Oahu. In the face of the state’s demands and due date written in the law, HECO.should state it is planning to shut down all of its fossil fuel power plants (and the company itself) by the due date mandated in the law. Make the announcement early enough (very soon) such that it gives everyone time to make alternative plans for their energy needs.

If it is a publicly held company, buy back the outstanding shares from their shareholders if the company has the funds available. The air traffic control tower at the airport will have to find some alternative means to power their radar units if there is any hope for the airport to keep functioning. Etc., etc.

I say it’s time to put their feet to the fire. Trying to co-operate with the politicians who produce these irrational and unworkable laws only encourages more of it. With the due date of September next year, it is time for a wake-up call in the State of Hawaii.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 6, 2021 5:55 am

You could speed things along and just declare all the politicians “clear and present dangers”. The next step would be to round them all up in a boat and set them adrift. After that, I’m uncertain, but a big party on the beach sounds about right.

Bryan A
Reply to  Spetzer86
June 6, 2021 11:43 am

send them to Guam, perhaps it’ll finally reach its tipping point

Dave Fair
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 6, 2021 9:58 am

There is no personal downside for regulated utility bureaucrats in going along with the politicos in power.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 6, 2021 6:03 pm

I think the end to this stupidity would be quicker, if the powerco AGREES to do what’s necessary to achieve the mandate. Then they should present the enormous, but truthful, rate increase required to pay for it. That puts the ball squarely back in the court of the PUC and politicians.

If you want it by then, we’ll do it by then, but Hawaiians must foot the bill.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  jtom
June 6, 2021 7:28 pm

Come to think of it jtom, you might be right. Your suggestion might very well be a better way for everyone in the Aloha State to realize the insanity required by the law. Especially when the state’s electricity users see their rates soar….if the PUC approves it.

June 5, 2021 7:24 pm

Hawaii might be the first crash test dummy for believing legislation will produce electricity.

Shoki Kaneda
Reply to  markl
June 5, 2021 7:37 pm

Magical thinking is the hallmark of the left.

Reply to  markl
June 5, 2021 8:45 pm

It comes out of walls, you electricity denier. Where do you think it comes from?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  philincalifornia
June 5, 2021 9:11 pm

Naw … it’s wires, long, long wires. Everywhere there’s wires I always find electricity.

June 5, 2021 7:53 pm

I have sadly reached the conclusion that rather than resist we should get the inevitable disaster over as quickly as possible in a few high profile locations. Its the only way to avoid larger wide spread large scale disasters later.

Reply to  peter
June 5, 2021 11:16 pm

Like Texas, maybe?

Barnes Moore
Reply to  peter
June 6, 2021 4:24 am

I agree totally and have stated the same thing several times. It will likely take a serious catastrophe with significant loss of life where the cause is undeniably due to over reliance on unreliables and the blame cannot in any way be shifted to FF like what the media was able to do with some success re: Texas. I am not sure if Hawaii would be a big enough event given it’s relatively mild climate and small size, but a total grid collapse would mean hospitals without emergency back systems powered by diesel would have their emergency rooms go dark, as well as ICU’s, etc. Likewise for airports, police, fire fighters, etc. IMO, until there is such an event, we will continue to pi$$ away money on the idiotic push to clean (it is not clean as anyone who has looked into what it takes to produce, operate, and dispose of solar panels and wind turbines knows), renewable (it is not renewable – panels and turbines wear out rather quickly compared to FF plants) energy.

Reply to  Barnes Moore
June 6, 2021 4:50 am

We’r just one good sized CME from seeing all the bitcoin billionaires on street corners holding cardboard signs while watching Tesla owners pushing their cars by…

June 5, 2021 8:46 pm

“Among the replacements planned was the Kapolei Energy Storage Facility, “
Magical thinking. How does energy get into that Energy Storage Facility? Captured unicorn farts? Energy storage is not an energy source.

If there is not enough solar, wind, or battery storage energy to replace the AES plant, HECO would have to use oil instead to charge things like the upcoming 185-megawatt Kapolei Energy Storage Facility,

And now we have unicorn farts plus pixie dust!
Battery storage is not an energy source for charging things, it is something esle that needs to be charged.

Last edited 1 year ago by StuM
Timo, not that one
Reply to  StuM
June 10, 2021 7:02 am

Battery storage will work fine. If there isn’t enough power from windmills and solar panels to charge it, they could just buy another battery to charge the first one.

June 5, 2021 9:08 pm

The “ugly-fication” of the world continues unabated. Keep your old photos of what Hawaii USED to look like, it will eventually look like every other repulsive wind and solar eye sore.

June 5, 2021 9:25 pm

Enjoying the off grid life here on the Big Island going on 3 years now. Our 500w system is enough for the fridge, freezer, computers, etc. and on the sunnier days, a few loads of wash. Much nicer than when we were in NorCal west of Red Bluff, as we have pretty much constant temps, so no heating or cooling needed.

They’ve got the Puna Geothermal Venture up and running again, and hopefully, they’ll have the bio-mass generator going that replaced the old coal burning plant in Pepeekeo if the nimby’s stop suing them in court.

The pic shows Waipio Beach, about the best and hardest beach to get to in Hawaii. At some points, the road is at a 45° slope and it holds the title of the steepest road in the world. 4×4 only to get up that. You might have seen it in the last reel of Waterworld when they reached Dry Land.

Reply to  Ralph LeVitt
June 6, 2021 2:53 am

Do you have an electric vehicle? And does your system have enough power to charge that too?

Reply to  Derg
June 6, 2021 4:38 am

Nope, I have a 7.3L diesel F250 that fits nicely into the handicapped spot at the Hilo Walmart that also doubles as an electric vehicle charging station.

I get an evil giggle from that…

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ralph LeVitt
June 6, 2021 10:05 am

When the entire electric grid fails, where will you be able to fuel your F250??

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 6, 2021 6:16 pm

Don’t know about Hawaii, and don’t have time to research it, but gas stations in states subject to tropical storms typically have emergency generators to provide power to the pumps should there be a grid failure. In Florida, at least, generators are mandated by law.

I would also guess that keeping four, five-gallon cans of gasoline would last a fair while in an emergency. Can’t have a spare battery for an EV.

Christopher Hanley
June 5, 2021 9:46 pm
Wayne Townsend
Reply to  Christopher Hanley
June 6, 2021 4:25 am

It is “Hawai’i (pronouned ha-uai-(glottal stop)-ee, along with Kauai’i, Moloka’i and Lana’i. Oahu is Oahu.

Reply to  Wayne Townsend
June 6, 2021 4:44 am

W’s are supposed to be pronounced as a “V”. And you have to remember that most syllables are just two letters. The glottal stops are hard, I’ll grant.

The area known as WaaWaa is pronounced as VaaVaa… Nice that acreage just across the street from the oceanfront parcels there is cheaper than acreage outside of Reno.


Reply to  Christopher Hanley
June 6, 2021 2:07 pm

I guess you’re asking why the missionaries who created the Hawaian writing system used the letter 'w' instead of the letter 'v'. The [w] and [v] sounds are allophones in Hawai'an, meaning that (1) they are similar sounds, and (2) the [w] sound appears at the beginning of words (wahini "woman"), while the [v] sound appears in some other positions (likeewa “crooked, west”). These are what linguists call allophones, which means that for a practical writing system, the same symbol can be used for both sounds, and the missionaries happened to choose the letter ‘w’. Similarly for the [l] and [r] sounds, which are allophones in Hawai`an, and for which the writing system provides a single letter, ‘l’.

In English, the sounds in “pill” and “spill” are allophones (and indistinguishable to most English speakers’ ears), so we use a single letter for both. Some other languages, like Thai, distinguish these sounds, and therefore have separate letters in their writing system.

June 6, 2021 12:43 am

The extraordinary thing is not just that the proposed measures will not work to do what they are supposed to – they will not deliver reliable zero carbon electricity.

It is also that for Hawaii to move to zero carbon electricity would be completely pointless. There’s no explanation of why they are doing it, what they hope to achieve by doing it.

We get this all the time in climate policy proposals. People want to do things, they invoke a supposed climate emergency or supposed global heating, and then they use this invocation to justify doing enormously expensive and impractical things which will have no material effect on global CO2 levels.

You see the same thing happening in the UK. The proposal is to ban ICE vehicles and oil and gas fired home heating. Its to ‘tackle climate change’. But it will have zero effects on the global levels of CO2.

The UK is a lot bigger economy than Hawaii, of course, but its still only doing around 1-2% of global emissions. Cut that to zero, and no-one will even notice. China will wipe it out with their coal fired construction program in a month or two. And then there is India…

This is really total insanity.

Ian W
Reply to  michel
June 8, 2021 6:38 am

You are making the mistake of assuming logical/engineering thinking in virtue signalling from liberal arts PhD politicians. If there is no fossil fuel used to feed power to the outlets then the world has been saved by the politicians. Pause for a victory lap before the next elections this will continue until the plebs complain about costs, loss of jobs etc., etc., At which point the politicians start claiming that the changes weren’t their idea and in any case they are only following enacted legislation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian W
June 6, 2021 12:55 am

Some irony here.
If the power goes out, how will they measure CO2 at Mauna Loa?

Reply to  Raven
June 6, 2021 4:46 am

NOAA measures the third cleanest air in the world down at Cape Kumukahi about 30 miles SE of Hilo. It’s solar powered. The two cleaner places are both in Antarctica…

Tom Kennedy
June 6, 2021 3:56 am

Locals are protesting industrial wind turbines

some 128 people on the island of Oahu have been arrested while protesting a wind energy project being built near the small village of Kahuku. The project is planned to include eight turbines standing 568 feet high. Many of the arrests occurred after protesters blocked trucks carrying equipment to the site

Wind turbines are increasing the odds a native Hawaiian bat will become extinct.

Hawaii’s policy makers slogan – We have to destroy the environment to save it!

June 6, 2021 5:47 am

Some of these articles almost sound like the people had thoroughly read certain sections of “Atlas Shrugged” with the idea of making the worst concepts into solid reality as quickly as possible.

June 6, 2021 5:49 am

Maybe the Hawaiian experts will give windmills another try, even though they didn’t work well last time.

Molokai residents point to a now defunct windmill operation at South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii as one reason not to erect windmills. On the beachfront site, many of the steel windmills have rusted into place or collapsed.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  PaulH
June 6, 2021 7:48 am

That’s old information about the Kamaoa wind farm. The new Pakini Nui windfarm nearby began operation in 2007. For a while the old Kamaoa towers were standing with the turbine blades removed. Last time I went by there in 2019 the towers were down and just rusting away in a pile (not worth the cost to transport them to scrap).

The good news about wind in Hawaii is it’s fairly steady; the bad news is it’s salt air. The Kamaoa wind farm began operation in 1987 and was seriously degraded by 2003 and kept partially running using cannibalized parts until 2006 when it was completely shut down. So the economic lifetime was a little less than 20 years. Unless turbine technology has significantly improved or the new turbines are better maintained, it’s likely they won’t be operational much past 2027.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 6, 2021 2:27 pm

I checked google maps. there are about 40 abandoned pads at Pakini Nui with abandoned towers and blades in scattered piles at the site.

Thomas Gasloli
June 6, 2021 6:28 am

Why no LNG? Would that be more than oil? It would be cleaner? Oil-fired always emits some particulate and metals.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
June 6, 2021 8:39 am

I’ve wondered that myself. It may simply be that by the time fracking made LNG affordable, Hawaii was already on the Klimate Koolaid train and wouldn’t consider any new fossil plants. Or it may be that transport has to come from the Gulf Coast and through the Panama Canal, raising the cost to be non-competitive.

Hawaii is a difficult case. The islands are all separate grids and Oahu with just under 10% of the total land area has more than twice the population of all the other islands combined (69%), while Hawaii with 64% of the land area has just 14% of the population. Any kind of fuel has to be shipped at least 2,500 miles.

Inter-island power ties have been discussed as far back as Thomas Edison, but never built. Given the island separation and population density disparity, there is probably no one generation technology that makes sense everywhere. Talk of a Hawaii-Maui-Oahu HVDC link comes up periodically to enable more renewable generation on Hawaii but I’ve never seen cost estimates.

Due to incentives for rooftop solar, Hawaii already suffers from an extreme case of the Duck Curve, which they call the “Nessie Curve” (after popular images of the Loch Ness Monster), and their substations were not engineered to handle reverse flows. If small scale solar installations increase, significant upgrades will be required.

For all these reasons Hawaii already has the most expensive electric rates in the country, and it is only going to get more so.

June 6, 2021 8:03 am

Set the clock and all point the finger at Jay Griffin when reality blows up with a crisis.

AGW is Not Science
June 6, 2021 10:17 am

By September of next year the law requires that 100 percent of electricity sales  must be from renewable energy.

So, that would mean they’ll have to mothball all the oil plants too. Oil plus coal = 75% of their electric generation, and 100% of their grid reliability. I think the Hawaii utilities should comply with the law to the minute and just shut down all coal and oil plants. Keep them off for 90 days so the whole world can see the type of life they’ll lead if they are dependent on “renewable” energy for 100% of their electricity. If they haven’t got the message by the end of the 90 days, extend it for another 90 days and so on. No “connections” to fossil fuel powered “grids” will be able to hide the extent of the lunacy on Hawaii, so it might just wake even the most deluded up to that thing we call reality.

June 6, 2021 1:08 pm

Good to see Hawaii join California, New York, and the UK as climate crash test dummies. The more, the merrier. Increases the odds of a big crash sooner than later

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 6, 2021 3:24 pm

It pains me to say it, but reality needs to happen in the USA well before the Nov 2022 elections..
Otherwise the Lefists will just transition from a “Covid-19 crisis” to a “climate crisis” to inact
their version of the green new deal.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 6, 2021 6:25 pm

Speaking of the UK, where is Griff? Shouldn’t he be touting how much of the UK’s electrical needs are being met by wind right now?

It’s currently at 1.57%, and that looks like the high of the day. (It’s been pretty pathetic since the first of April.)

Reply to  jtom
June 7, 2021 8:38 am

I was down the pub… an amazing establishment which serves draft beer: I had quite forgotten the excellence of this institution…

June 7, 2021 6:59 am

They will need more electric capacity just for the legal industry expansion that’s coming.

David S
June 7, 2021 11:29 am

As of 2020 renewables accounted for only 35% of Hawaii’s electricity.
Getting to 100% in such a short time will definitely be a challenge.

Ian W
Reply to  David S
June 8, 2021 6:48 am

The politicians have ‘done their bit‘ now it is just the simple engineering issues to solve. People have been generating electricity for centuries – surely it cannot be that difficult on the islands?

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian W
not you
June 8, 2021 9:59 am

residential electricity is already the highest in the u.s.s.a. at .33 per kwh

commercial is even more

i don;t have any a/c. i cannot afford $400 a month to run one

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