Claim: Hawaii relies on Russian oil — but clean energy could change that

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Hawaiian grid operators have the job from hell. Green obsessed Hawaiian politicians have demanded their grid operators keep the electricity flowing without buying oil, despite a forced coal shutdown and serious delays to renewable energy projects.

Hawaii relies on Russian oil — but clean energy could change that

Hawaii’s transition to renewables becomes all the more urgent as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rattles energy markets.

25 February 2022

Julian Spector

Russia invaded Ukraine, global oil prices spiked, and one U.S. state in particular will feel the crunch.

Hawaii imports all of its oil, much of it from Russia itself. As the U.S. Energy Information Administration succinctly notes, ​“Isolated by the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is the most petroleum-dependent U.S. state.” And while gasoline prices are rising everywhere, Hawaii is unique among the states in how much it depends on oil for electricity.

The biggest power plant on the most populous island, the coal-powered AESplant in West Oahu, will shut down in September 2022. The fleet of large-scale renewable projects developed to replace the coal plant is facing delaysand cancellations. Until new clean capacity comes online, oil plants are part of the fallback plan to keep the lights on for Oahu’s 1 million residents when coal power goes away.

“We have warned about leaving the cost of this transition up to world oil markets, and this week’s events are another reminder of the price we pay for oil dependence,” said Jay Griffin, chair of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, in a Friday email.

Regulators at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission previously castigated the utility for its plans to increase reliance on oil-burning plants after the coal plant shutdown, citing concerns about carbon emissions and added costs for consumers.

In a letter to Hawaiian Electric, the regulators said that Oahu is expected to have enough energy to keep the grid reliable for the next few years thanks to the first two rounds of contracts for new renewable and battery projects. But, the letter adds, ​“nearly all Stage 1 and 2 projects have faced delays,” and multiple projects have been canceled due to pandemic-induced supply chain problems.

Read more: https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/fossil-fuels/hawaii-relies-on-russian-oil-but-clean-energy-could-change-that

One of my first contracts was developing software for a power utility, to help them manage their inventory. I liked my manager Lou S., decent guy, gentle, compassionate, yet a real sense of mission. He approached his job of keeping the lights on, the way police officers or other frontline workers approach their job. He knew there are real consequences when the power fails, so he was quietly but utterly determined to prevent that from happening, by doing his job to the best of his ability.

Somewhere in the Hawaiian grid hierarchy is someone just like my old power engineer boss, who is burning whatever is left of her life and sanity, trying to save her bosses from themselves. Nothing she does is right in the eyes of her bosses. Coal is being eliminated, renewables are late to the table, so she bought oil for emergency diesel generators – then got slammed in public for doing her job, of keeping the lights on.

Whoever you are, just walk away. They don’t deserve you.

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2hotel9
February 27, 2022 6:02 am

So they are going to build a nuke power plant in Hawaii?

Vuk
Reply to  2hotel9
February 27, 2022 6:07 am

I assume that the USA has enough oil to supply needs of it’s population, but it’s reluctant to do so.
In addition Hawaii has huge reserves of geothermal potential.

Last edited 7 months ago by Vuk
Spetzer86
Reply to  Vuk
February 27, 2022 6:35 am

That worked well until a few years ago when the lava came through in that one site.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Spetzer86
February 27, 2022 7:25 am

Pele hates geothermal?

She is obviously working at cross purposes to Gaia!

Steve Case
Reply to  Spetzer86
February 27, 2022 7:45 am

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! First chuckle of my day. Yes I know it’s really not that funny, and sure does put the fear of God (Pele) if you try that again. You got a link for that Just a minute, I’ll Google that:

Production wells at a geothermal plant under threat by lava flowing from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano have been plugged to prevent toxic gases from seeping out. LINK

Scissor
Reply to  Steve Case
February 27, 2022 7:58 am

Not in plain sight in the article is the fact that the heat transfer fluid used was pentane, which they referred to as a gas, though at room temperature pentane (actually a mixture of isomers, predominantly the straight chain normal paraffin) is a liquid hydrocarbon, mostly derived from crude oil, especially from fracking.

HeckSpawn
Reply to  Scissor
March 1, 2022 1:25 pm

It’s even the working fluid in fridges & freezers out here.

HeckSpawn
Reply to  Spetzer86
March 1, 2022 1:24 pm

Lave only covered a few wells. The plant is up and running again.

Meanwhile, the greenwaste plant has the people’s & government’s foot on it’s neck.

https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/09/lawsuit-hu-honua-a-fiasco-from-the-beginning/

2hotel9
Reply to  Vuk
February 27, 2022 7:36 am

We are not reluctant, we have a$$holes in our government blocking us from doing so.

Kazinski
Reply to  Vuk
February 28, 2022 12:40 am

Yeah, but how’s Ohau’s geothermal potential? Hawaiian Electric says: “No geothermal resources have been identified on Oahu that could be tapped for electricity.”

An undersea power cable from the big island doesn’t seem like it anymore feasible than unicorn power, or even fusion power.

commieBob
Reply to  2hotel9
February 27, 2022 6:52 am

There are floating power plants. link They could rent one of those until their renewable energy becomes viable, ie. forever. 🙂

2hotel9
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 7:41 am

That would be a sweet gig! Could gouge them for billions with that grift! 😉

Burgher King
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 8:28 am

Build these floating power plants inside white-painted cruise liner hulls and no one in Hawaii will know the difference.

griff
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 9:37 am

Yes, ideal location for floating wind farms…

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 9:54 am

Hawaii exists for tourisms
Destroying the landscape and views destroys the economy
But I suppose you’ll be ok with that

At least when the power goes out they won’t freeze

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 10:13 am

Still looking for a place where wind power will work.

Scissor
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 12:49 pm

You’ve obviously never been in the water off the coast of Hawaii. Quite often the waves are such that they beat everything to shit.

MarkW
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2022 2:07 pm

griff doesn’t do research.

Graham
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 4:31 pm

griff doesn’t do nothing but post inane comments .

ihfan
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 6:38 pm

Yes, ideal location for floating wind farms…

I bet NOBODY thought of that. You’re the first person to ever think about putting up offshore wind turbines in Hawaii.

or…

Many others HAVE thought about it and came to the conclusion that it’s a bad idea.

LdB
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 9:34 pm

Good laugh for the day … see if you can work out why it isn’t on agenda perhaps start by asking a local instead of try to understand the world from the UK home of your mother.

Drake
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 10:39 am

The US Navy HAS floating power plants. At Pearl Harbor. Both submarines and Aircraft carriers.

The USS Indianapolis, a submarine, was sent to Kauai after hurricane Iniki to provide power if necessary. I don’t think they actually ever hooked it up. Articles from that time indicated that it would taken too long to hook everything up and diesel generators shipped in were connected more quickly.

Joel
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 12:30 pm

Are those rigs solar or wind powered?

Reply to  2hotel9
February 27, 2022 12:19 pm

The way things are going Hawaii may well expect a nuke from Putin.

2hotel9
Reply to  ferdberple
February 27, 2022 12:45 pm

I don’t think their solar panels and batteries are up to the load they would be receiving.

George Daddis
Reply to  2hotel9
February 27, 2022 2:14 pm

Ship the oil via the rail line that AOC envisions to replace air travel in the US.

2hotel9
Reply to  George Daddis
February 28, 2022 6:32 am

The high speed train to Hawaii Accusatory Occasional-Cortex proposed? Yea, thats the ticket!

Tom Halla
February 27, 2022 6:06 am

Hawaii’s other problem is the Jones Act, so it cannot use American LNG.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2022 6:18 am

They’re not alone in regards to that problem.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2022 7:28 am

Can we have some competent governmental agency evaluate the “social cost” of the Jones Act?

If the benefit to U.S. shipping interests is X$, then the cost to the U.S. overall has to be somewhere in the range of 100X$ to 1,000X$.

Scissor
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 27, 2022 8:20 am

Yes, the Jones Act sound like some Jim Crow law.

MarkW
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 27, 2022 10:17 am

Like most other government subsidies, those who benefit from it, benefit a lot and are willing to fight to keep it in place. Those who are hurt by it barely notice it and it isn’t worth their time to fight against it.
As a result, any time a government subsidy is created, it instantly becomes permanent.

Independent
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 12:25 pm

Concentrated benefits, diffuse costs. Trade barriers on sugar are another excellent example (and the reason why sweets here cost more than Europe and sweetened corn syrup is used instead in sodas).

John K. Sutherland
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2022 7:47 am

THE JONES ACT (1920)

The US cannot ship its own oil or nat gas to its own ports, because of the Jones Act of 1920.
From an article by Colin Grabow of Cato.
‘This 1920 law mandates that vessels transporting cargo within the United States must be U.S.-registered, at least 75 percent U.S.-owned, at least 75 percent U.S.-crewed, and U.S.-built. But no ships capable of transporting LNG in bulk quantities that meet these requirements exist.
Of the world’s more than 525 LNG carriers, not a single one is Jones Act-compliant. And so even as (foreign) ships laden with U.S. LNG voyage to countries as distant as India and Japan, it cannot be sent by water to other parts of the United States.
This is almost certain to remain the case so long as no changes are made to the Jones Act. The law’s strictures virtually guarantee that transporting U.S. LNG to Puerto Rico, or via ship to any other part of the United States, will never make economic sense.
The cost of ship construction alone is prohibitive. According to the Wall Street Journal, a U.S.-built LNG carrier would cost over half a billion dollars more than one purchased from a South Korean shipyard ($700 million versus $180 million). Beyond the general inefficiency of U.S. commercial shipyards, this differential is explained by a lack of expertise—U.S. shipyards have not built an LNG carrier since 1980. In a 2015 GAO report one U.S. shipyard admitted that to build such a ship it would have to “hire an additional 250 to 300 skilled Korean workers for the duration of the build time to ensure the work is done correctly.”
Crewing the ship with Americans still further diminishes the attractiveness of a Jones Act-compliant LNG carrier. U.S.-flagged ships are estimated to have operating costs in excess of $6 million per year compared to ships operating under foreign flags, with U.S. crews the primary cost driver.
To make the math pencil out, a Jones Act-compliant LNG carrier would have to charge rates well above those of foreign-flagged carriers. This would cut into the savings of using cheap U.S. LNG in the first place, if not erase it entirely. And when such a ship was not delivering LNG to Puerto Rico, how would it earn its keep? For deliveries to international destinations the ship would have to compete against foreign-flag vessels with far lower costs. Any U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed LNG carrier would almost certainly be unemployable and unviable on a long-term basis.’
‘As smart as a bag of hammers’, comes to mind.

Drake
Reply to  John K. Sutherland
February 27, 2022 11:07 am

Funny, during WWII the US built over 3000 Liberty and Victory ships, many in shipyards that didn’t even exist at the beginning of the war.

NOPE, the US can’t do ANYTHING at a reasonable cost. This is, of course, due to all the FREE MONEY people get for NOT working.

End welfare for anyone of able body, to be determined by doctors under threat of fraud and perjury charges if the determination if fraudulent.

Eliminate the jobs of all tax diversion lawyers, accountants and the IRS by going to the Fair Tax, so they would be “FREE” to do productive work. Eliminate probably more than 50% of the remaining lawyers and many court personnel by requiring looser pays on all civil suits, with the proviso that the attorneys are liable for the % of expenses that the judgment would have provided them, but if not contracted on a % basis, 500% of their contractual fee shall be charged.

That would create a vast resource of new computer programmers since Brandon said coal miners can be retrained to do that I am sure bureaucrats and lawyers can also. So we won’t need any more H1B visas.

BTW: There was a time when almost all charity went to the poor but now, since the government provides for the poor, it goes almost exclusively to leftist causes. All fundraising for “non-profits” SHALL be required to list the % of donations that goes to fundraising, the % that goes to employees AND Lawyers with the median income shown and the % that goes to the end actual end recipients. You know like for the Clinton Crime Foundation, 0% for fundraising since Hillary an Bill used their government positions and connections to extort the contributions, 100%, since all the money went to “running” the operation and 0%, since no one got anything from them. And ANY non-profit, including churches, who advocate for political causes, shall be taxed. Now speaking against abortion or same sex marriage in not Political, it is Biblical, so that would not be disqualifying. That includes any church that has a politician come to speak. Lets just set the removal of tax exempt status to 5 years after the occurrence. Any attempt to avoid the penalty by changing the corporation, etc. shall be a felony for the individuals involved.

Coeur de Lion
February 27, 2022 6:24 am

They’ll keep the coal going. No harm

commieBob
February 27, 2022 6:34 am

In times of emergency, it sometimes makes sense to set expectations somewhat higher than is actually possible.

Beaverbrook deliberately inserted an extra margin of 15 per cent over and above the very best that British industry could be expected to produce. The extra margin was added to provide an out-of-reach target to British industry so that it would push as hard as possible to increase production.

link

Beaverbrook was a very wise genius and his plan worked. Britain produced way more fighter aircraft than the Germans expected. That, plus radar, won the Battle of Britain.

So, what if you have ambitious stupid people who set impossible goals? These people have to be got rid of post haste. link They are a danger to the nation.

The folks pushing renewable energy in Hawaii aren’t nearly as smart and knowledgeable as they think they are. They will cause great damage and their excuse will be that they were sabotaged by the malign forces of the fossil fuel industry. The truth will be that they failed because of their stupidity and ignorance. If sanity ever prevails again, we need something like the Nuremberg Trials for such idiots. “I was just trying to save the planet” is a lot like “I was just following orders.” /rant

Last edited 7 months ago by commieBob
meiggs
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 6:54 am

Surely the how-are-yans would also like to shut down the tourist trades? Perhaps only welcoming those arriving by sail boat? That would solve their energy problem too, no toursist, no need for it.

Scissor
Reply to  meiggs
February 27, 2022 8:22 am

The military presence there, especially around Pearl Harbor, is quite significant.

Spetzer86
February 27, 2022 6:34 am

You’re basically calling for the Doers to go all John Galt on them? Might work. Although going all John Wick might be faster…

Scissor
February 27, 2022 6:36 am

Should Hawaii wish to maintain a travel industry, then it also needs to import fuels or oil for jets, etc., in addition to the huge use of fossil fuels for maintaining its military bases.

In order to kill two birds with one stone, the U.S. could just surrender Hawaii to the Chinese.

MarkW
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2022 7:00 am

I thought Japan was going to buy the Islands back in the 80’s.

Scissor
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 8:02 am

Yes, they could have been left holding the bag.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 8:42 am

Yes, they were. And the grounds of the Imperial Place in Tokyo were worth more than the state of Florida. A trade the Emperor should have made.

On Dec. 29, 1989, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average finished the year at an all-time high of 38916. It went down for almost 20 years after that and bottomed at less than 20% of its all time high after the Panic of 2008. It has recovered since then and closed last Friday at 26,476.50.

“And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no telling who that it’s naming
For the loser now will be later to win”

Bob Dylan

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2022 7:58 am

“..U.S. could just surrender Hawaii to the Chinese.”

Or just kick them out of the Union. From what I’ve seen from their officials, they’ve all bought into a local version of “intersectional” politics and don’t care much for us mainlanders. There are certainly better beaches that are a lot cheaper and easier to visit.

MarkW
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
February 27, 2022 10:20 am

I for one am quite willing to let the Hawai’ian people show us the virtue of their ways, by having them quit buying Russian oil.

Last edited 7 months ago by MarkW
Streetcred
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
February 27, 2022 4:25 pm

They’re only needed for strategic naval purposes.

Coach Springer
February 27, 2022 6:45 am

Noted: Tropical islands with minimal comparative energy needs need fossil fuels.

They may possibly materially reduce such dependency at the cost of their environment and their economy.

griff
Reply to  Coach Springer
February 27, 2022 9:39 am

Tropical islands, where the sun beats down all day…

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 10:22 am

Once again, griff goes out of his way to demonstrate to the world, that his ignorance of everything knows no bounds.
Tropical islands, where the sun beats down in the morning, but it rains for much of the afternoon.

Tomsa
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 10:37 am

Sure Griff, the sun beats down all day, but what about the 12 hours of night. I gather you’re talking solar panels, but I doubt you’ve been to Hawaii. The highest population island is Oahu, where there would be little suitable land for solar. There is one farm currently squeezed into two valleys on the northeast part of the island, anywhere else would take valuable agricultural land. Do you like pineapple?

MarkW
Reply to  Tomsa
February 27, 2022 11:25 am

Aren’t valleys, by definition surrounded by at least hills, if not mountains? Don’t mountains block sunshine for a portion of the day?

John Hultquist
Reply to  Tomsa
February 27, 2022 1:38 pm

Do you like pineapple?”

The State of Hawaii produces less than 10% of world pineapple. (2018)
Here is who does:
Top Pineapple Producing Countries – WorldAtlas

Hawaii’s Top 10 ExportsHawaii’s Top 10 Exports 2020 (worldstopexports.com)

#1 Iron or steel scrap

Drake
Reply to  John Hultquist
February 27, 2022 7:37 pm

Sorry, I can’t accept that the WorldAtlas can have anything right. It lists Taiwan as “China, Taiwan Provence of”

Anything that woke MUST be run by leftists and, as per griff, we know how misguided they are.

rxc
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 11:46 am

So Hawaii should be a great test of our future, as envisioned by all the experts on climate change. They have lots of sun and wind, and should be able to be completely self-reliant, without coal or oil or nuclear.

What, exactly, is keeping them from achieving this paradise?

Last edited 7 months ago by rxc
PCman999
Reply to  rxc
February 27, 2022 12:17 pm

“What, exactly, is keeping them from achieving this paradise?”

Reality
Economics
Laws of physics…

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  rxc
February 27, 2022 11:02 pm

Texas also has lots of sun and wind.

PCman999
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 12:15 pm

So…. cut down palm trees and dig up pineapple plantations to cover the islands with panels? Do you even listen to yourself?

Joel
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 12:35 pm

One thing islands don’t have is real estate.
Where will those panel go?
Dang. Feeding the troll again.

Streetcred
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 4:27 pm

Cloud coverage ?

Graham
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 4:44 pm

Another inane comment from griff.
Are you trying to score the highest red numbers ?

LdB
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 9:36 pm

Your mothers house is not really a good way to understand the world 🙂

rhs
Reply to  griff
February 28, 2022 5:02 pm

Any solar panel less than 10 feet/3 meters off the ground would be over grown by vegetation in a month. Not to mention there are ants in Hawaii which eat through concrete.

DonK
February 27, 2022 6:59 am

Actually, Hawaii wouldn’t be a bad place to run a pilot project in running a modern society on renewables. It has essentially no fossil fuel resources unless there are so far undiscovered clathrate deposits offshore. And it’s a LONG way from anywhere. As a result, electricity is already quite expensive. 30-40 cents a kwh. It’s tropical, so there’s reasonable solar potential even in Winter. And geothermal energy is possible although the volcano ate their geothermal plant a few years ago. Most of the people live on Oahu which is roughly 50x70km — a reasonable distance for EVs. And there’s an interesting engineering problem probably — running a high capacity power cable across the 2km deep, 50km wide Maui Channel from Hawaii where the volcanoes are to the places where most of the people are

That would be if the green warriors believed in engineering — which they don’t seem to. Faith based stuff is so much cleaner and easier. Much more fun.

My GUESS is that such an experiment would end up concluding that even with the deck stacked in favor of renewables, they can’t do the whole job and that either nuclear or fossil fuels are needed as well. But it would be interesting to try and see what happens.

Scissor
Reply to  DonK
February 27, 2022 8:04 am

They would only need to go back to wearing grass skirts, which isn’t half bad.

MarkW
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2022 10:23 am

Grass skirts were introduced by the missionaries. Before that, they danced naked.

Robert B
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 11:22 am

They used a cloth made from ti leaves. Pretty sure that they would dance naked sometimes, but not in polite company.

The swap to grass skirts was for practical reasons. Missionaries just banned hula dancing.

Scissor
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 12:26 pm

Why do you think I said it wasn’t half bad?

I had envisioned attractive Hawaiian maidens lounging around a pool beneath a waterfall.

Rhoda R.
Reply to  Scissor
February 28, 2022 2:43 am

Now imagine their grandmothers in the same scene.

Gregg
Reply to  DonK
February 27, 2022 8:12 am

They could also go back to growing sugarcane and perhaps growing switchgrass and converting it to biofuel for powering their generators and inter-island jets, if the economics pencil out. They likely don’t.

They already tried pumping cold water up from the depths and running a Rankine-cycle generator when used with warm surface water (greater than 20°C delta T). They shut it down because it wasn’t economically sustainable. They discovered that selling the deep ocean water to the Japanese as a mineral rich tonic was more lucrative. That said, it looks like Makai started up a new 120 kW pilot plant in the same location (Kailua Kona), so we’ll see if it does better this time with titanium heat exchangers.

MarkW
Reply to  Gregg
February 27, 2022 10:31 am

Do you know how much energy it took to pump the cold water up from the depths? The difference in density shouldn’t be that much, but their is friction. Also unless the pipes themselves are insulated, the water will be warming as it comes up.

What do they do with the water when they are done with it? I would also imagine that they are required to make sure that the water around their plant doesn’t cool off too much.

PCman999
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 12:25 pm

“There” not “their”

Water temperature rules, and any other environmental rules only apply to traditional power plants. Environmentally friendly plants can pollute and kill all they want.

Scissor
Reply to  Gregg
February 27, 2022 12:34 pm

They grow high quality abalone for export using that water. Took the tour once.

https://www.gohawaii.com/listing/big-island-abalone/111710

Joao Martins
Reply to  DonK
February 27, 2022 8:40 am

Your proposal is too intelligent to be acceptable/accepted…

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  DonK
February 27, 2022 9:24 am

One problem is there are no inter-island power ties, so each island is its own isolated grid.

The four most populous islands are:

Oahu: 953,207 people; 596.7 sq mi
Hawai’i: 185,079 people; 4,028.0 sq mi
Maui: 144,444 people; 727.2 sq mi
Kaua’i: 66,921 people; 552.3 sq mi

Oahu has most of the people but not enough area for grid-scale solar. Hawai’i has lots of space (quite a bit more than all other islands combined), but no way to export power to Oahu 160 miles away or even Maui only 30 miles away.

The other problem is the Hawaii population is divided into full-time residents, who are the standard mixture of working and middle class, and the wealthy, very wealthy, and extremely wealthy part-time visitors. Larry Ellison (Oracle) owns almost all of Lana’i, and Metaman Mark Zuckerburg seems to be following suit on Kaua’i. Guess who does not want to see the tropical views from their island fiefdoms spoiled by wind and solar farms? People on resort golf courses want to see palm trees and frolicking whales, not wind turbines.

In theory, you could put enough solar on the western side of Hawai’i to supply all of Hawai’i and probably Maui, Lana’i and Molokai during the day. But there will have to be sufficient backup power for night and the occasional overcast day. Above all else you have to keep power to the air and seaports, or essential stuff can’t come in (bad).

rxc
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 27, 2022 11:50 am

I say again, why has it not happened, if a majority of the inhabitants are in favor of it? Why haven’t they installed all the battery backups, windmills, and solar farms?

Scissor
Reply to  rxc
February 27, 2022 12:37 pm

I don’t know how many billions they’ve spent on the airport to downtown train in Honolulu, but politicians are still getting rich off of it.

MarkW
Reply to  DonK
February 27, 2022 10:25 am

I thought that geothermal was only available on the big island.

Last edited 7 months ago by MarkW
JimH in CA
Reply to  DonK
February 27, 2022 1:48 pm

California isn’t far behind with $0.282 per kWhr, and $0.355 for that in excess of the 360 Kwhr baseline amount.
https://www.pge.com/tariffs/index.page
The ‘E1’ rate is residential.

So much for the ‘low cost’ wind and solar’…..NOT!

Don
Reply to  JimH in CA
February 27, 2022 6:51 pm

Once all the subsidies and other financial incentives are removed along with the maintenance of wind and solar especially marine wind turbines along with their relatively short lives and ultimate disposal costs , what would be the bottom line then ? I think it would be shocking even to the Greenies !

Andy Kepling
February 27, 2022 7:19 am

Once we start building better boats we won’t need lifeboats anymore, so lets ban lifeboats now, to make better boats happen quicker!

Scissor
Reply to  Andy Kepling
February 27, 2022 8:05 am

Great analogy!

Drake
Reply to  Andy Kepling
February 27, 2022 7:56 pm

Brilliant!

c1ue
February 27, 2022 7:57 am

The reason Hawaii still generates the majority of its electricity from oil is because of the huge US military (naval) bases there. The transport of oil to Hawaii is subsidized by the US military, and at least some of the oil burned for civilian consumption is subsidized as a result.
Substitution of this oil can be done but it would mean replacement with something that isn’t subsidized – not at all obvious to me that it would improve the situation.
Similarly, increasing wind and solar would not only have the reliability problem – both power generation and the supply/start/stop headaches of backup – but also Hawaii doesn’t have infinite empty land for solar/wind.
I haven’t looked at the purported battery backup setups reported above, but i would not be surprised if the costs were enormous with the resulting duration of backup being in the single to low double digit hours range – i.e. useless for any protracted period of significant wind/solar interruption. And these aren’t so uncommon in Hawaii: a passing typhoon is a multi-day event, for example.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  c1ue
February 27, 2022 9:32 am

but also Hawaii doesn’t have infinite empty land for solar/wind.

The big island has lots of empty land for solar/wind. And it’s easy to find — just look for the lava fields. Bonus advantage: about the time your wind/solar installation is broken or obsolete, an eruption might come along and save you the trouble of dismantling it.

griff
Reply to  c1ue
February 27, 2022 9:40 am

It has rooftops.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 10:37 am

That’s 1% of the solution.

Tomsa
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 12:16 pm

Hawaii has had home solar installations for many years but reading between the lines I would imagine that with the initial cost of a homeowner setting up a system and keeping it running efficiently it would take many years, perhaps forever to recoup the investment. The credits don’t seem to make it worthwhile at all. And as Mark says it’s only 1% of the solution.

This from Hawaiian Electric website

“Customer Grid-Supply Plus (CGS Plus) allows customers to install private rooftop solar or other renewables that export energy to the electric grid throughout the day. CGS Plus also requires the use of equipment that allows the utility to manage output to maintain safe, reliable grid operation…
All new rooftop solar systems in Hawaii are now required to use advanced inverters that help maintain a stable and reliable grid.”

Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 8:24 am

Geothermal and offshore wind/solar installations would easily power the entirety of Hawaii 24×7.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 10:27 am

Barry Anthony: “Geothermal and offshore wind/solar installations would easily power the entirety of Hawaii 24×7.”

Maybe. But at what cost in time and money?

An alternative zero carbon solution would be based on the oncoming small modular nuclear reactors, assuming the first of the SMR plants have been constructed on cost and on schedule on the mainland in the late 2020’s, and are then being reliably delivered in useful numbers starting in the early 2030’s.

Here is a proposal. Convince the Hawaiians to fund a highly-detailed engineering feasibility study which covers each and every project element of a geothermal/offshore wind/solar solution versus each and every project element of an SMR nuclear solution.

Back the engineering feasibility study with highly detailed basis-of-estimate information and a realistic risk managed approach to creating a comprehensive cost and schedule analysis for each alternative.

After reviewing the outcome of this highly detailed engineering feasibility study, if Hawaii’s public policy decision makers still want to pursue a 100% geothermal, wind, and solar future, then more power to them.

MarkW
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 10:38 am

Please provide math. Others have already done so and have shown that as usual, you are full of shiite.
PS, Only the island of Hawaii itself has geothermal, and it has only a small percentage of the total population.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 1:18 pm

Amazing that they haven’t done it already?
Can you explain that?

Is it just those gosh darned deniers preventing action once again?

Graham
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 5:00 pm

Geothermal is not carbon neutral.
Here in New Zealand our communist Prime minister has stated that she wan’t to decommission some of our geothermal power stations because they release CO2.
some more than others.

ihfan
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 6:46 pm

Geothermal and offshore wind/solar installations would easily power the entirety of Hawaii 24×7.

So why wasn’t that done decades ago?

Oh yea, because it doesn’t work that well.

LdB
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 9:38 pm

Along comes Barry again big on talk but pretty short on knowledge. The best option is LNG but as others stated the Jones act make that hard.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 27, 2022 8:39 am

Hawaii imports all of its oil, much of it from Russia itself.

I was not aware Hawaii imports oil from Russia and I can’t imagine a reason for it, unless it’s the Jones Act again. Another reason to amend or scrap that legislation. Still it seems strange as Hawaii imports all its gasoline as well and the grades are the same as rest of the US. And I’m pretty sure the US Navy does not depend on Russia to keep their bunkers full, so there has to be considerable fuel transport to Hawaii from the mainland already.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 27, 2022 10:39 am

I’m pretty sure that the Navy is exempt from the Jones Act.

PCman999
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 12:42 pm

The Navy could use their own ships for supply, no?

LdB
Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 9:43 pm

They are but that makes it manned by military which would mean you are complying with the Jones act anyhow. Could you have foreign crew considered to be acting as US military … I doubt it but sure US peeps could expand.

Vuk
February 27, 2022 9:50 am

Here is opportunity for China to get stake in Russian oil at a fire sale.
“BP abandons stake in Russian oil giant RosneftThe FTSE 100 oil giant will offload its 20pc stake in Rosneft, previously valued at $14bn (£10bn), and abandon its seat on the board following pressure from the UK Government.
Bernard Looney, its chief executive, will also step down from Rosneft’s board, as will Bob Dudley, the former BP boss.
The company said it is likely to take a significant financial hit from the sale.”

PCman999
Reply to  Vuk
February 27, 2022 1:23 pm

How does it hurt Russia if BP has to sell their shares for a pittance, probably to their Russian partners?

LdB
Reply to  PCman999
February 27, 2022 9:44 pm

Depends if they need funding remember major shareholders do more than hold shares they guarantee funding to banks etc. So question becomes how much debt is on Rosneft balance sheet.

Last edited 7 months ago by LdB
Cam_S
February 27, 2022 10:21 am

Last time the wife and I were in Maui, we stayed for a week (west side), down the road from the diesel generator station. I could see the wind turbines. They did not turn during our stay. The diesel generator ran constantly.
How would more turbines help, when there is no wind?

rxc
Reply to  Cam_S
February 27, 2022 11:52 am

Magic

February 27, 2022 12:29 pm

How about something like this: Canada ships LNG to Hawaii from Kitimat on foreign carrier. Foreign carrier ships LNG from Louisiana to Irving in Nova Scotia.

Why burn Russian oil when you can burn Canadian LNG. In any case, why help finance Russia’s war?

Joe Gordon
February 27, 2022 12:38 pm

It’s sounding more and more like Russia is being run by Kim Put-In rather than a sane leader. I don’t think anyone, let alone Hawai’i, is going to buying anything from Russia for a long time.

At least it doesn’t get cold in Hawai’i. But the kids will miss their smart phones.

Don
Reply to  Joe Gordon
February 27, 2022 7:09 pm

Russian exports in the first ten months of 2021 totalled $388.4 billion, an increase of 42.8% over the same period last year, according to the Russian Federal Customs Service or around 30 Billion dollars per month . There is no way that will change , Germany , Norway and even the USA cannot stomach that !

Chucko
February 27, 2022 1:06 pm

Aloha, brothers and sisters. Unfortunately you deserve it.

Editor
February 27, 2022 1:30 pm

Hey, maybe they could just delay the closing of the coal plant, keep buying Aussie or even American coal, and see how things sort out over the next couple of years?

George Daddis
February 27, 2022 2:12 pm

Some one needs to read them the fable about the mice deciding their safety would be insured if they tied a bell around the cat’s neck.

Or the two scientists looking at a blackboard depicting the path to a new invention and pointing to the step that says “..and then a miracle occurs.”

The question “HOW?” is so fundamental you would think more people would incorporate it in their train of thought.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  George Daddis
February 27, 2022 11:13 pm

And HOW MUCH?

David S
February 27, 2022 4:43 pm

Maybe Hawaii will be the first state to learn the folly of their green plans.

Bob
February 27, 2022 5:12 pm

I swear, I coming to think that politicians, bureaucrats and administrators are required to go to stupid school before they are allowed to accept their position.

Brad
February 27, 2022 10:20 pm

From Wikipedia:
“ The U.S. federal government’s spending on Hawaii-stationed personnel, installations and materiel, either directly or through military personnel spending, amounts to Hawaii’s second largest source of income, after tourism.”
If the military pulled out, it would be game over. Tourism couldn’t compensate, regardless of who controlled it. It is essentially a welfare state, paid for by our taxes.

Kazinski
February 28, 2022 12:28 am

Obviously the solution is to build an LNG import terminal, and convert the existing coal and oil plants to natural gas.

Lower carbon, probably lower cost, and much easier on the environment than current plants or building windmills.

The US has Zero LNG terminals in the West Coast and I don’t think the Panama canal is a good option, however Mexico has an LNG terminal in Ensenada, Baja California, and Australia is one of the 3 largest LNG exporters in the world along with Oman and the US.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
February 28, 2022 1:34 am

Maybe Hawaii can take over from South Australia as the crash test dummy for jackass renewable energy stunts. South Australia is stupid, but not this stupid. Or maybe…?

ResourceGuy
February 28, 2022 6:08 am

Hawaii needs to be put under federal court supervision for its energy policy choices and support of Russian tyrants.

Boris
February 28, 2022 2:53 pm

My old company Fortis BC was in negotiations with Maui power in 2015 to supply them with Clean LNG to get the Gas Turbine generators off of Bunker C and diesel that are powering the base load of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Not only would this change of fuels make the emissions less it would also allow for the output from these gas turbines to increase as there is a limitation running distillate fuels causing the units to run at a maximum of 92% to 96% name plate output. The amount of maintenance and operating costs would be greatly reduced as burning Bunker C in Gas turbines maybe cheaper for fuel costs but it is really hard on the hot end components.

A change of government in 2016 and the new governor stopped all of these negotiations because he had mandated that all fossil fuel burning generators were to be phased out and replaced with renewables. So as a result these gas turbines are still burning Bunker C and diesel today.

Kazinski
Reply to  Boris
March 1, 2022 6:57 am

The Perfect will never stop its unremitting warfare on the Good, of course its never going to win either.

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