Wind turbines and clouds, big island of hawaii

Hawaii Renewable Electricity Claims Unsupported by EIA Data, Emissions Unchanged

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The government of the state of Hawaii lays claim to being one of the first states in the U.S. to have mandated that by 2045 its electricity will be generated from 100% renewable energy with this mandate highlighted in a Scientific American article from 2018 shown below which touts the state as “leading other states in almost every category” regarding generating renewable electricity.

Other articles hype claims made by the state that it is moving so rapidly in increasing renewable electricity that it not only achieved year 2020 renewable energy contributions to meet the 30% target set for electric utilities by December 31, 2020 it “blew past that” target as noted by Hawaiian Electric’s claim of 34.5% of renewable energy electricity in year 2020 as the state moves toward “a completely clean energy system.”

Hawaiian state law establishes the states renewable energy targets that are defined as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for the state’s electric utilities as identified below from state law 269-92.

Under Hawaii’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), each electric utility company that sells electricity for consumption in Hawaii must establish the following percentages of “renewable electrical energy” sales:

  • 10% of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2010;
  • 15% of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2015;
  • 30% of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2020;
  • 40% of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2030;
  • 70% of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2040;
  • 100% of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2045

The eligible renewable energy resources include hydro, solar and wind as well as “other” emissions producing technologies whose electricity generation is included in the “renewable electrical energy” sales used to define the RPS standard and are identified as follows:     

Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Geothermal Electric, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Biomass, Hydroelectric, Hydrogen, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Municipal Solid Waste, Combined Heat & Power, Landfill Gas, Tidal, Wave, Ocean Thermal, Wind (Small), Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels

The Hawaiian Islands electric utility resources for which the RPS standards apply are shown by island group and identified below.

The state of Hawaii claims that it achieved an annual RPS of  29.8% for the year 2019 and as noted above exceeded the 30% RPS target for year 2020 with continuing gains claimed for the 1st quarter of 2021.

EIA electricity generation data for the state of Hawaii shows that in 2019 the amount of renewable energy used for producing the state’s electricity accounted for 16.3% of its electricity for year 2019 with about 9.2% of the state’s electricity from hydro, wind and solar and the remainder from the “other” eligible emissions producing renewable energy categories.

Fossil fuels including petroleum (70.4%) and coal (13.4%) provided a total of about 83.8% the islands total electricity in 2019.

EIA data for Hawaii shows that in year 2020 the amount of renewable energy used for producing the state’s electricity accounted for about 21.5% of the state’s electricity with petroleum and coal providing 78.5% of the state’s electricity.

In 2021 EIA data for the 1st quarter of the year shows that renewable energy provided about 23.2% of the state of Hawaii’s electricity and petroleum and coal provided about 76.8% of the state’s electricity.

EIA data showing the percentages of Hawaii’s total electricity generation being provided by renewable electricity is significantly lower in years 2019 (16.3% versus claims of 29.8%), 2020 (21.5% versus claims of 34.5%) and 1st quarter of 2021 (23.2% versus claims of greater than 35%) than highlighted by the state of Hawaii and as presented in headline news reports and articles touting the states leadership and progress in moving toward the 100% renewable electricity in 2045.   

The state of Hawaii’s total energy consumption in 2018 as listed in the EIA state energy consumption data base shows that Hawaii’s electricity sector represents only about 31% of the Hawaii’s total energy use.

Fossil fuels (coal and petroleum) accounted for 89.4% of Hawaii’s 2018 total energy consumption with all forms of renewable energy providing about 10.6% of the total energy consumption including wind and solar amounting to only about 6.3% of the state’s total energy consumption.

This EIA total energy data clearly establishes that Hawaii is extremely dependent on the use of fossil fuels (most predominantly petroleum) for its energy and economic requirements and survival.

EIA data shows Hawaii ranks 37th in use of petroleum fuel (trillion Btu) among the 50 U.S. states but ranks 6th in the U.S. in petroleum use per capita (million Btu) clearly indicating the critical importance of petroleum fossil fuels to the state.  

Hawaii has by far the highest residential electricity rates in the U.S. which as of February 2021 were 32.36 cents per kWh with its already highest rate in the U.S. having climbed by about 10% since 2015.

Hawaii’s total year 2018 CO2 emissions are among the very lowest of all U.S. states (ranked 44th) as shown below and account for about 18.7 million metric tons of CO2 annually with electricity emissions representing about 38% of Hawaii’s total CO2 emissions. Hawaii’s total energy CO2 emissions remain little changed from 2015 which was also 18.7 million metric tons. 

Hawaii’s CO2 emissions from electricity generation have remained in a range between about 7.1 to 7.3 million metric tons in the period 2015 (7.36 million metric tons) through 2019 (7.34 million metric tons). 

During the period between 2015 and 2019 CO2 emissions reductions have occurred in coal fuel CO2 emissions but increased CO2 emissions in the “other” emissions producing renewable energy category (“other” includes non-biogenic municipal solid waste, batteries, chemicals, hydrogen, pitch, purchased steam, sulfur, tire-derived fuels, and miscellaneous technologies) have increased off-setting the emissions reductions from coal. 

Hawaii’s CO2 emissions compare to the over 22 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions annually by the world’s developing nations led by China and India that have announced significantly increased coal fuel use growth this year and in the future. These nations emissions exceed by a factor of more than 1,000 the total emissions of Hawaii. Additionally, the developing nations since 2015 are increasing CO2 emissions at an average annual rate of about 60 times that of Hawaii’s present total annual electricity related emissions.

The world’s developing nations led by China and India are completely responsible for all global CO2 emissions increases since about 2005 with a growth of nearly 8.2 billion metric tons as depicted below with the incredibly sharp rise driven by China and India clearly apparent in the 2005 through 2019 time period. 

Hawaii has absolutely no role whatsoever in having any impact on issues relevant to global emissions. Thus, climate alarmism politicians in Hawaii can’t claim to be “fighting claimed change”.

The world’s developed nations led by the U.S. and EU have reduced CO2 emissions by about 1.7 billion metric tons from year 2005 through 2019 as clearly shown below with the significant reduction decline commencing at the start of that time period. 

U.S. CO2 reductions were primarily achieved by increased use of lower cost, higher efficiency and lower emission natural gas obtained through fracking to replace higher emission coal fuel.

According to EIA increased use of natural gas accounted for about 62% of the U.S. emission reductions since 2005. EIA data shows that between 2005 and 2019 U.S. cumulative CO2 reductions from fuel substitution of natural gas replacing high emission coal fuel resulted in 3.4 billion metric tons in CO2 reductions. 

Climate alarmists and renewable energy advocates never address (and in fact conceal) this huge natural gas driven CO2 emissions reduction benefit and endorse Biden’s and the Democratic Party’s ridiculous energy and emissions incompetent war against use of lower cost, higher efficiency and lower emission natural gas obtained through fracking technology.  

The huge CO2 emission reduction benefits of using natural gas are demonstrated by the EIA U.S. emissions reduction chart shown below. Even more significant is the fact that U.S. CO2 emissions reductions will be sustained well into the future because of increased use of natural gas with the U.S. having ceased increasing global emissions at all since 2005 while sustaining a reduction of nearly 1 billion metric tons from its peak CO2 emissions levels (a reduction more than 50 times greater than Hawaii’s total annual CO2 energy emissions). 

Hawaii has absolutely no role in reducing U.S. CO2 emissions which are driven predominantly by increased use of natural gas replacing coal fuel. Hawaii uses very little natural gas with higher emissions petroleum and coal fuel dominating its total energy use and as a consequence has no role in climate alarmist “fighting climate change” hype.   

Hawaii is now facing a major electricity energy and reliability dilemma as the state’s Legislative Act 23 which bans use of coal fuel by the end of year 2022 becomes effective which mandates the closure of the 180 MW AES coal plant in West Oahu that now provides about 20% of Oahu’s electricity and is the single largest electricity generation resource on Oahu.

EIA data shows that this Independent Power Producer (IPP) AES coal plant operated at capacity factors between 83 to 95 percent between 2015 and 2019.

This “brilliant” scheme by energy clueless Oahu renewable energy advocate climate alarmist politicians has the shutdown of this reliable and dispatchable AES firm capacity power plant replaced by a giant 185 MW battery storage facility that will supposedly be charged by increased numbers solar and wind energy facilities which operate at typical capacity factors of only 20 to 35 percent with these renewables also providing replacement capacity for the lost 180 MW firm capacity AES facility.

Hawaiian Electric faced with the energy reality that this battery storage project can’t possibly be charged by new solar and wind facilities that operate at typical capacity factors of only 20 to 35 percent while also replacing the shutdown AES plant firm capacity and has warned the state that it will likely have to charge this battery facility using its present oil-fired power plants.   

The article notes following absurd situation created by energy clueless Hawaiian politicians that have proposed this scheme: 

“The 185-megawatt storage facility was intended to make up for the loss of the 180 MW AES plant, which was no longer a viable option because of a recent ban on coal. But renewable energy projects have been beset by a number of problems, including delays in renewable projects.

One concern, as Pacific Business News reported in March, is that these delays “will leave Oahu with a very tight fuel reserve margin, opening up the possibility of rolling blackouts in the event of failure.”

Perhaps the greater concern, however, is the impact these delays will have on the giant battery.

“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.

The costs of this project are unspecified but will clearly be staggering. 

The annual electricity produced from the AES coal fueled 180 MW capacity plant that is mandated by Hawaiian Law to be closed at the end of 2022 is over 1,500,000 megawatt hours per year. The amount of newly developed and installed renewables that would be required to replace this AES energy production is equivalent to duplicating all presently existing renewables generation located on all of the Hawaiian Islands and placing all those new renewables facilities on Oahu in less than 18 months.

To the extent that such a ridiculous scheme can’t create this amount of new generation capacity by the end of year 2022 to replace the AES firm capacity and charge the 185 MW battery system there will be capacity and reliability shortfalls requiring mandated power reductions, rotating blackouts and increased likelihood of electric system collapse. California’s rolling blackouts of August 2020 were caused solely by the states over reliance on government mandated unreliable and costly renewables with the state failing to retain sufficient amounts of dispatchable and reliable natural gas fueled power plants and its failure to secure firm capacity power purchase contracts from adjacent states.           

The costs associated with the AES shutdown and battery system efforts include the capital costs of new solar and wind facilities (which operate at very low-capacity factors compared to the existing coal plant, are non-dispatchable and unreliable) and “other” renewables. Based on IRENA most recent construction cost estimates this amount of solar and wind generation would amount to about $250 to $300 million dollars in new construction costs. The cost associated with the charging the 185 MW battery system for its 565 MWH capability would be about $300/KWH amounting to about $200 million dollars per charging cycle. The cost of the battery system project is estimated at $500 million dollars. Additionally, the highly geographically distributed renewables would require significant changes and upgrades to the transmission system on Oahu requiring yet more cost expenditures.  

All these huge cost increases will be imposed on top of the costs of an electric system that already has the highest electricity rates in the U.S.  

It seems very unlikely that the politically mandated scheme to foolishly force the closure of a reliable, dispatchable, cost effective and high capacity factor IPP power plant on Oahu and magically replace this facility with massive amounts of yet to be identified unreliable, non-dispatchable, low capacity factor and costly renewables in conjunction with a very large untried, unproven and hugely costly battery storage project along with the huge costs of the energy needed to charge this battery system project is at all feasible. 

Unlike California which leans on other adjacent states to provide 90% of its natural gas through interstate pipelines, foreign suppliers for more than 50% of its petroleum as well as imports from Alaska and southwest and northwest states providing for 25% of its electricity with all of these resources available to be called upon to save the state from its own incompetent energy folly whereas the Island of Oahu is isolated from outside help. If it screws up the electric power system based on mandates from politicians that are energy and emissions clueless the businesses and people of Oahu have no one to back them up and economic disaster will prevail.           

The RPS defined by state law addresses only the state’s electric utilities electricity sales. These electric utilities produced in 2019 about 53.9% of Hawaii’s electricity use with the remaining 46.1% of states electricity was provided by Independent Power Producers (IPP’s like AES that use coal fuel), Combined Heat and Power electricity producing facilities (CHP’s that use petroleum fuels) and additional facilities including hydro, solar, wind and emissions producing biomass and “other” categories of eligible renewables. 

All of these energy facilities represent the total electric industry of the state of Hawaii. 

Spokespersons for the state government, the electric utilities and the media have chosen to present the RPS numbers as though they represent the amount of renewable energy providing the total electricity use in the state. This is not the case as the EIA data addressed earlier clearly establishes. Statements made, especially by media, which erroneously hype this misunderstanding that grossly overstates the amount of the state’s electricity provided by renewables are misleading as demonstrated in the articles addressed at the beginning of this essay.

This problem in understanding the meaning of the RPS numbers was identified early in the process of the state developing these programs as noted in the article below.

As the article notes:

“There’s been plenty of press about Hawaii’s first-in-the-nation policy of “100 percent renewable energy by 2045” but a lot less talk about what the law really means, especially its loopholes.

Let’s take a hypothetical example to start breaking down the math.

The state would actually meet its goal if half of the amount of electricity Hawaii consumed came from rooftop solar and the other half came from oil-burning power plants.

That doesn’t sound like “100 percent renewable energy,” but it would be under the law.”

“The numerator (top number) of the fraction is the amount of electricity the utility generates from its own renewable resources plus the amount of renewable energy coming from rooftop solar and other on-site customer sources.

The denominator (bottom number) in the equation is the utility’s sales from electricity it produces from renewables and fossil fuels.

The law requires the numerator be at least as high as the denominator (100 percent), but the denominator can include fossil fuel sources.

That’s how it’s possible to meet the 100 percent renewable goal with 50 percent rooftop solar and 50 percent fossil fuels.”

Hawaii’s leadership needs to clarify and correct these misrepresentations of the amount of Hawaii’s electricity that is being provided by renewables instead of continuing to promote and flaunt these misleading numbers that overstate the amount of Hawaii’s total electricity use obtained from renewables with these flawed claims being nothing but renewable energy political hype.   

The political leadership and people of Hawaii understandably want to address the huge dependency of the state on high-cost petroleum for its electricity. But instead of focusing their efforts on this legitimate issue they have gotten hopelessly lost in pursuing costly and unreliable green energy political fantasy schemes that have the potential to greatly exacerbate the state’s present energy, electricity and very high energy cost problems.                 

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Curious George
June 21, 2021 10:29 am

What’s the Grand Prize in this lying contest?

Reply to  Curious George
June 21, 2021 11:14 am

The Grand Prize is you get to relocate to Arizona. The booby prize is you have to stay in Hawaii.

Reply to  Curious George
June 21, 2021 11:57 am

A Green blight. Dead birds, bats, etc. Laundered, renewable greenbacks. Intermittent/renewable energy. Progressive prices. Cascade grid failures.

Reply to  Curious George
June 21, 2021 2:07 pm

You get to run for public office and have the taxpayers pay for your electricity.
(And everything else for that matter.)

June 21, 2021 10:30 am

It shows you how out of touch politicians are with energy use and generation. You cannot legislate something/anything that can’t be practically achieved. Virtue signaling produces nothing but broken promises in most cases. The average Hawaiian spends far too much of their take home pay for electricity as it is and they’re blindly making the situation worse. Nuclear would be ideal for Hawaii.

Ron Long
June 21, 2021 10:33 am

It appears that Tourism is the main cash industry in all of the Hawaii Islands. What’s going to happen when the air conditioner, cell phone charger, TV, etc don’t work, due to electricity shortage/rolling blackout? Oh well, if you are going to go natural, without electricity, Hawaii is a good place for it.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Ron Long
June 21, 2021 3:04 pm

Hawaii is done, worn out, dirty, not cared for, and best left to the native kama’aina Ohana.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  Ron Long
June 21, 2021 4:12 pm

Hopefully, Hawaii will be returned to Verifiable Native Hawaiians.

Brent Qually
Reply to  Rich Lentz
June 21, 2021 9:34 pm

Let’s send you somewhere else and return your land to someone else while we’re at it.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 21, 2021 7:45 pm

They also need to mandate that all of those tourists must arrive either on sailing ships, or solar powered Zeppelins.

not you
Reply to  Ron Long
June 22, 2021 10:39 am

the main ‘industry’ in hawaii is the u.s. military

Last edited 1 year ago by not you
Paul S.
June 21, 2021 10:43 am

Tourists will flock to the islands to stare at the lovely wind turbines scattered across the otherwise bland scenery

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Paul S.
June 21, 2021 10:59 am

Many years ago saw an English a capella folk group (yes, such a thin exists), who did the obligatory “green preaching”…except while there were really, REALLY green…didn’t think they should besmirch their lovely moors with turbines…also see: Kennedy family, Kennebunkport, etc.

Actually hiked the Lahaina Pali Trail last time there, and have to say, they are kinda impressive close up.

Read the comments…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Caligula Jones
June 21, 2021 11:11 am

I read the comments, not much there.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Paul S.
June 21, 2021 12:51 pm

and as we can see in the photo near the top- of an otherwise beautiful valley filled with solar panels- can’t wait to see it in person!

J Mac
June 21, 2021 10:44 am

Those Hawaiians have been smoking too much paki lolo. Reducing CO2 emissions is not a benefit. CO2 is the foundation food for all life on Planet Earth. Feed The Plants!

Gregory Woods
June 21, 2021 10:45 am

No mention of the Jones Act costing Hawaiians big bucks….

Reply to  Gregory Woods
June 21, 2021 2:10 pm

Gotta preserve those union jobs. No matter the cost.

June 21, 2021 10:49 am

Wonder if they’ll take a page from the Australian manual and blow the coal plant to kindom come? Always a clear and genuine sign there’s no going back. Top of the line virtue signaling.

Caligula Jones
June 21, 2021 10:50 am

That doesn’t sound like “100 percent renewable energy,” but it would be under the law.

Ah, the old “if I had ham, I could make you a ham and cheese sandwich, if I had cheese” argument…

Reply to  Caligula Jones
June 21, 2021 12:06 pm

Intermittent/renewable drivers. Costly (e.g. rare earths), disposable converters. Progressive prices. Shared/shifted/obfuscated responsibility. Envirocares is the analog of Obamacares.

Sweet Old Bob
June 21, 2021 11:04 am

Time to go back to 49 states ?

The rest of us don’t have any interest in paying for any of this BS.
They will be crying for a bailout … let them eat poi .

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
June 21, 2021 12:16 pm

Nah, Hawaii will simply become a fine example to open people’s eyes, because they won’t be able to hide the results of this stupidity using “grid power” from the coal and oil and gas fired power plants across the border in other states. Their isolation will put a spotlight on the rank stupidity of trying to generate electricity for a 21st Century society using 17th Century power sources.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 21, 2021 2:11 pm

I thought the Japanese were supposed to have bought Hawaii by now.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 21, 2021 2:21 pm

Say that again and you are canceled.

spangled drongo
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 22, 2021 2:36 am

Very true. There is nothing like being completely isolated and having to generate all your power via 100% renewables to find out the truth.

Off-grid areas in Australia have found this out to their great expense to the extent that they now realize that renewables are more than 100% useless.

They now consume the same amount of fossil fuels yet have the establishment cost of renewables to write off plus an enormous maintenance bill.

Real CO2 emissions are much higher than they ever were.

Somehow though, this never gets any publicity.

June 21, 2021 11:04 am

Apparently the numbnuts in Hawaii don’t understand the law of diminishing returns, or in lay language, “taking the low hanging fruit first”

Getting to 30% vastly easier than getting the next 30%, or the next 30% after that.

Hawaii can never get to 100% generation from renewables – it is literally impossible. Indeed, it would be the greatest shock in history if they get to 40%.

The only way to end dependence upon fossil fuels is nuclear. Period, end of story. But somehow the leftwingnut powers that be in Hawaii seem rather unlikely to ever embrace nuclear energy.

So for the next 24 years most of their bureaucratic energies are going to be consumed with blaming Big Oil for their failure to achieve Big Renewables.

Reply to  Duane
June 21, 2021 2:11 pm

40%? They’re barely half-way to 30%.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Duane
June 21, 2021 3:40 pm

Hawaii can never get to 100% generation from renewables – it is literally impossible

Hawaii has an advantage over other places in the US because they have active volcanoes that produce lots of heat energy, and they don’t have as great of a need for heating as Minnesota, nor as great a need for A/C as most of our southern states.

They would just have to budget for replacing the volcanogenic electric plants periodically.

Jeff Alberts
June 21, 2021 11:05 am

Mr. Hamlin really hates commas, and loves run-on sentences.

June 21, 2021 11:05 am

…or they could turn off the air conditioners and achieve better than their claimed reductions in CO2. And it wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a dime. 😏

Reply to  Philip
June 21, 2021 12:17 pm

Air conditioners are infrastructure – some just gotta’ have it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gringojay
June 21, 2021 3:52 pm

When I lived in Phoenix briefly, neither of my California cars had air conditioning. I experimented with various adaptations to my 1970 Scout. Putting a mister in front of the engine compartment air intake made a difference up to about 85 degrees. After that, the air apparently got re-heated and was ineffective. My next experiment was putting dry ice in a pan atop a plenum chamber for the heater. The heat transfer rate was so low that it was ineffective at any temperature. I next modified a desktop swamp cooler to run off 12V. It worked nicely sitting on the passenger seat next to me — for about the first 10 minutes! After that, the relative humidity got so high that it was more uncomfortable than noting at all. What was worse, every time I would turn a corner, water would slosh out and the rugs started to develop mildew. I finally gave on on trying to retrofit. When my parents and I lived in Phoenix in 1953, my dad bought a swamp cooler that attached to a window and dragged in air from the outside. It seemed to help. But, such things were no longer available for purchase in the late-1990s.

Reply to  gringojay
June 21, 2021 4:38 pm

I think I saw that same picture on some on-line dictionary as the definition of, jury-rigged. 😁

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Philip
June 21, 2021 12:18 pm

That will be readily accomplished by their policies – it’s called blackouts.

Thomas Englert
Reply to  Philip
June 22, 2021 9:10 am

I lived on Oahu for one full year. Did not have a/c or heat, none needed, so none installed. Hawaiian weather is “perfect” IMHO.

not you
Reply to  Thomas Englert
June 22, 2021 10:56 am

you didn’t on the west side of oahu, that much is certain

June 21, 2021 11:12 am

OK, the vision is coming to me now … just as gazillions of Californicators are abandoning the Golden State for a red state with low taxes and low regulation, even though they may be ugly and the weather sucks most of the time (Texas!) because at least in those states they get to keep a little of their gold .. I now envision gazillions of Californicators and Hawaii FiveOers relocating to red states where they can actually afford their power bills, gasoline, and the lights actually stay on all night.

That will be the great divide in America a generation from now – to be, or not to be, or rather, choose to live in a functioning 21st century society, or else it’s back to the stone age with you, Comrades in Leftwingnutism! At least in Hawaii, they won’t freeze in the dark, though they may be unable to charge their iphone … but it really gets hot and humid there in the summer (I know from first hand experience).

David S
Reply to  Duane
June 21, 2021 1:34 pm

The escapees from Hawaii and California will bring with them their leftwing policies and destroy their new states as well.

Reply to  David S
June 22, 2021 5:49 pm

David S:
Yep! The voting patterns the escapees bring with them does matter.
Here in Arizona as of 2021 we now have 2 Democratic Senators [Sinema & Kelly], thus we’ve gone partially blue (from red).
The only good news is that of the two, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema actually has a spine: she is resisting changing the filibuster.

June 21, 2021 11:13 am

What did happen …
comment image

June 21, 2021 11:23 am

Hawaii, which is surrounded by the sea, could easily hit their target of 100% “renewable” energy sales by 2045 if they installed some small modular reactors on the islands fueled with uranium that they can economically extract from the sea, which contains enough uranium to power the entire earth for a billion years. And the used fuel can be reprocessed and more than 90% of it reused to extract even more energy.

But that’s not what they mean by “renewable”.

Reply to  stinkerp
June 21, 2021 12:28 pm

Should have included this:

Seawater yields first grams of yellowcake (PNNL press release, June 2018)

Last edited 1 year ago by stinkerp
Doug Huffman
Reply to  stinkerp
June 21, 2021 3:07 pm

What, you are going to pay the native plant operators in Hormel Spam? Kama’aina are not interested in haole magic.

June 21, 2021 11:28 am

If I remember correctly, Hawaii is a democrat controlled state. It is no wonder that they will lie to virtue signal that they are doing something beneficial.
These incompetants will remove a fairly clean and efficient coal plant and replace it with batteries charged by an oil burning plant.
The stupid – it burns. If we could only use it as an energy source.

Lets not forget to celebrate Juneteenth in the years to come by acknowledging that we are celebrating republicans freeing democratic slaves.

June 21, 2021 11:44 am

Sad thing is that Hawaii would be an ideal place to go all electric based on SMRs. It would cost to build out the system (especially the EV charging network), but it could work.

June 21, 2021 11:56 am

Tourism $13B and US Military $16B are the largest industries in Hawaii. Then followed by a continuously shrinking Agriculture contribution. So tell me how are all the Tourist going to visit Hawaii? come over on sail boats? So much ignorance in Hawaii leadership. Lived there for 3 years and never understood why there was not already Nuclear Power installed . Everything on the islands, including the Fishing industry rely heavily Fossil Fuels.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  davetherealist
June 21, 2021 3:09 pm

What, you are going to pay the native plant operators in Hormel Spam. Kama’aina are not interested in haole magic.

Hoyt Clagwell
June 21, 2021 12:37 pm

How can you reach 100% renewable energy if you can’t manufacture windmills and solar panels with renewable energy? Ahhhh, that was somebody else using fossil fuels. That doesn’t count!

June 21, 2021 12:54 pm

It will be fun to watch when only fossil free airlines and ships will be allowed into Honolulu.

June 21, 2021 1:02 pm

Uncovering more lies perpetrated by Climate Change scammers.

June 21, 2021 2:08 pm

Three choices for Hawaii when it comes to electricity:

  1. Coal
  2. Nuclear
  3. Suck it, chumps
Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  GeoNC
June 21, 2021 3:17 pm

As long as we’re talking new construction, I don’t see why CCGT can’t be considered. LNG can be delivered from Gulf Coast ports if necessary, and it now looks like there is an option to combine tourism and LNG delivery in the same ship.

Even better, Shell is now working on “Biomethane”:

We are working with Shell as they are making the necessary Bio-LNG investments to scale the technology and build a reliable infrastructure. Bio-LNG, or liquefied Biomethane, is a biofuel made by processing organic waste flows. Biogas develops when anaerobic digestion occurs, biological matter breaks down and gas is emitted in the process. Bio-LNG is practically CO2 neutral and has all the advantages of LNG, including reduced CO2 emissions, lower engine sound, lower NOx and significantly less particulate matter emissions.

Maybe they can combine the two, and harvest biomethane directly from the cruise tourists to power the ship, liquify the excess and deliver to Hawaii – carbon neutral tourism!. I’m sure that should qualify for a substantial grant.

I got a bit side-tracked by sarcasm there, but I’d like to see an economic analysis of CCGT for Hawaii using LNG shipped in from the west coast.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 24, 2021 9:48 pm

Well Alan in 2013 FortisBC was in negotiations with the Hawaiian power supplier to convert the five gas turbines on Maui from #2 diesel and Bunker fuel to clean natural gas from LNG delivered from the Delta BC LNG plant expansion. The LNG plant was installed to provide LNG to up to 25 truck fleets in Lower Main Land BC. The expansion that was going ahead was going to supply an LNG highway concept some new BC ferries and Hawaiian Power as it was a good opportunity to expand into a new market. By converting these gas turbines to cleaner gas would give another added bonus of been able to recover the lost power output from using distillate fuels. Almost 15% to 20% of the total power output can be gained by burning Natural gas.
What changed was the new governor elected in Hawaii stopped all negotiations with Fortis BC and cancelled the whole project. He said that Hawaii would be going All renewable and would be phasing out fossil fuels in the future.
To see these gas turbines continue to burn bunker fuel is one of the most hypocritical things that is everything wrong with the stupid Green movement.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 21, 2021 2:11 pm

The state of Hawaii has a number of unique problems when it comes to designing a power grid.

  1. There are no inter-island power ties; each island is its own grid.
  2. Any kind of fuel (actually any kind of anything) must be shipped at least 2,500 miles from the nearest US west coast major port (Los Angeles).
  3. Oahu is by far the most populous island and likewise has the highest population density, along with the least available area (relative to electric usage) for grid-scale wind and solar. There’s over 160 miles of ocean between Oahu and where all the space is.
  4. The big island (Hawaii) is by far the largest, but has the lowest population density. There’s lots of space to put wind and solar, as long as you avoid the active volcanic zones.
  5. The wind is fairly reliable (but does go calm for days at a time), but the salt air is hard on machinery. The original Kamaoa wind farm at South Point on Hawaii lasted less than 20 years.
  6. Rooftop solar hot water is common and works quite well, at least on the western half of each island.
  7. PV solar suffers from the same “duck curve” mismatch between production and demand, but it’s especially sharp in Hawaii, where they call it the “Nessie Curve” after popular images of the Loch Ness monster.
  8. Rooftop PV solar is already creating problems with reverse flow at some substations, which were not designed to permit it.

Rooftop solar simply won’t replace grid-scale generation for Oahu and major resorts. Individual homeowners might justify the cost, but only if they can also draw power from the public grid when needed.

If there were inter-island HVDC links, you could in theory put a lot of wind and PV solar on the big island and share it with Oahu, but there are none and the fact that it has been discussed as far back as Thomas Edison’s day is a strong hint at the likely price tag.

As for modular nuclear, unlikely for three reasons:

  1. Commercial systems don’t exist, and even pilot projects are years away.
  2. Self-appointed guardians of ancestral Hawaiian spirits have so far managed to stop construction of the new thirty-meter telescope on Mauna Kea (littering their protest site with tons of garbage — I guess ancestral Hawaiian spirits are OK with trash). I bet they would be even more in a tizzy over a nuclear plant.
  3. The Democrat party runs the state and Hawaii Democrats are almost as loony as the California ones.

No matter what you do, electricity is going to be more expensive in Hawaii than any other US state.

Curious George
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 21, 2021 2:54 pm

“No matter what you do, electricity is going to be more expensive in Hawaii than any other US state.”

Never underestimate California.

Reply to  Curious George
June 22, 2021 11:23 am

California is likely to take that as a challenge.

Russell Dyer in Norcal
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 22, 2021 3:18 pm

The California solution would be to add a USB charging grid from all the resorts to the battery. Tourists would be required to bring a USB charger to plug into the ac grid and then to the new USB grid! Problem solved, we don’t need evil haole cool. Do I need /sarc?

June 21, 2021 2:19 pm

Be a good idea to start up a business selling generators there.

June 21, 2021 3:00 pm

Based on the specified 180MW capacity, at 90% capacity factor the coal plant will produce electricity at the rate of 162 megawatt hours per hour. For how long does a 185 MW battery produce at the rate of 185 MW on a single full charge? Doesn’t that bear some relevance to system capacity, especially to the required capacity of the proposed oil burning recharging facility?

Last edited 1 year ago by AndyHce
Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  AndyHce
June 23, 2021 8:34 am

I think what is happening here is that the politicians saw that they could replace a 180MW coal plant with a 185MW battery. Simple math – we gain 5MW! Genius! But as you point out, the key is MW-hours. The coal plant can run almost continuously at 80-90% rated power. The battery? A matter of a few minutes to a few hours I would think, not sure of efficiencies there.

And they will be charging the battery with oil-fired generators. This is beyond dumb.

Math is hard, ignorance is worse.

Peter Fraser
June 21, 2021 3:43 pm

The first picture says a lot about Hawaii’s renewable program. At least nine of the fourteen windmills visible in the photograph appear to be out of action.

June 21, 2021 6:34 pm

It’s time for the fossil fuel generators to go on strike. Or rather, to change the way in which they bid to supply power in order to highlight the true cost of wind and solar. For example, a fossil fuel generator could bid for each hour (or whatever period is used) in a 24-hour period on an all-or-none basis. If any one part is rejected then the rest are withdrawn – preferably by all fossil fuel generators not just one. Note that the utility doesn’t need to change its rules for this to work, the generators can simply tell the utility that that is how they are going to operate until sanity re-enters the system.

bill Johnston
June 21, 2021 7:42 pm

They better be careful. If they get too many batteries, it may make the island(s) tip over. h/t Hank Johnson.

June 21, 2021 9:03 pm

The electricity grid data doesn’t normally include the consumer side (behind the meter) of rooftop solar PV (or used with batteries like a PowerWall) & private consumption (not the excess which is exported). It also depends on the types of meters used. This could explain some of the differences,
But.. We obviously can’t use the publicly available data to verify the claims & the size of the differences appear to be larger than expected. Other grids have about 2x rooftop solar PV vs grid scale PV. How much rooftop PV does the Hawaiian islands have?

June 22, 2021 12:00 am

The entire controversy seems preposterous. If Hawaii has problem with petroleum’s affordability or reliability, it would make perfect sense to adopt alternative sources such as nuclear or hydro or coal. Wind and solar do not provide either. And the hysterical pearl-clutching anguish about CO2 is quite ludicrous, as the article implies. CO2 at this time, at these levels, is not in control of climate, and we humans are not in control of CO2.

Tom Kennedy
June 22, 2021 5:01 am

This article should spike all the green nonsense being spouted by Biden, AOC, Greta and their “fellow travelers” AKA “Useful Idiots”

My favorite quote:

“Hawaiian Electric faced with the energy reality that this battery storage project can’t possibly be charged by new solar and wind facilities that operate at typical capacity factors of only 20 to 35 percent while also replacing the shutdown AES plant firm capacity and has warned the state that it will likely have to charge this battery facility using its present oil-fired power plants.  “

This is a state version of the guy who recharges his Tesla with a Honda gasoline generator.

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