Category Archives for "Hawaii"

Cheap Storage Mops up Solar Spills in Hawaii

Solar in Hawaii

In Hawaii, super-high grid prices and tons of sun have made solar pretty much the standard operating procedure for homeowners.  With excess solar on the grid, here’s how Hawaiians could store some for later, without batteries.

The concept is disarmingly simple. Electricity is used to do something everybody needs, and it doesn’t matter exactly when it is done, as long as gets done. And everybody needs hot water.

So when the afternoon sun is producing more electricity on the grid than can be used at that time, it gets put to work doing something useful in what’s called a “distributed storage system”, and this distributed storage system is made up of hundreds of already existing storage units we all already have in our houses.

By utilizing common storage devices that are already in place, and simply hooking them up to the grid, Hawaiians can get a cost-effective form of energy storage without resorting to buying batteries. So what is this common storage technology we all have already?

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Hawaii Front and Center in Ongoing Solar War with Utilities

Hawaii truly is a paradise, especially if you’re talking about solar. The state is thriving — except for the fact that utilities are standing to stand in its way. Despite being one of the leading states when it comes to solar power, Hawaii is becoming the face of the solar energy battle between rooftop solar for homeowners and large utility companies unequipped to handle solar. In an article from The New York Times, Hawaii’s growing population of wannabe solar power uses continue to be barred from installing solar rooftop panel systems, leading to frustration and anger over their less than sunny situation.

Hawaii’s Influx of Solar Energy

The Energy Information Administration says that Hawaii’s utility-scale electricity generation from solar energy increased nearly six-fold in 2013. Additionally, around 12 percent of Hawaiian homes feature solar rooftop systems. It’s definitely the highest in the nation, beating out other solar powerhouses like Arizona and California. Yet the popularity of self-generating electricity via solar panels has put a tremendous strain of existing infrastructure. That’s why Hawaii utility companies stopped homeowners from installing rooftop solar. Old power lines and circuits are having trouble handling the influx of energy.

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Hawaii Aiming for 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2045

honolulu

We already know how dedicated Hawaii is to clean energy. Solar energy is thriving! In fact, so many people want solar that many have had to wait for solar companies to catch up to them. Now, it’s doubling down on renewable energy sources in a tremendous way. Recently, Hawaii’s Legislature approved more than 100 bills, including a bill that requires Hawaii to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. This means that all electricity provided by the electric companies will have to come from renewable sources like solar and wind. If it becomes law, it would make Hawaii the first state in the U.S. to commit to a 100 percent renewable energy goal.

Meeting Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Goal

According to Civil Beat, approximately 22 percent of the state’s energy came from renewable sources last year. While getting to 100 percent renewable is going to take some time, Hawaii is already well on its way. “It’s going to save everybody money, it’s going to put less carbon in the air, it’s going to boost jobs in our local energy industry,” said Rep. Chris Lee.

In addition to overall energy goals, the Legislature also passed a bill to make the University of Hawaii system the first in the nation with a goal of being 100 percent renewable, plus generating all their own power by 2035.Continue reading

Hawaii Solar Energy Thriving

hawaii

Aloha, solar energy! The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that Hawaii’s solar power capacity over the last five years has skyrocketed on the island of Oahu (home of Honolulu) and grown significantly on the other smaller islands.

Hawaii has always been a leader in solar power systems and installation, especially rooftop solar, but what this tropical state has planned next is going to topple its old numbers. By 2030, Hawaii aims to triple its solar power and have renewable energy sources supply 65 percent of its electricity.Continue reading

Solar Energy in Hawaii – So Obvious it Hurts

The state of Hawaii was the first state to implement wide scale use of solar energy.

Hawaii is expected to generate at least 40% of its electrical power from solar energy by the year 2030. Since the cost of fuel is a lot more expensive for residents who reside on this island state, the use of solar power only makes sense. Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source that is best suited for the climate and environment of Hawaii.

One gigawatt of electricity is able to provide energy for at least 700,000 to 750,000 households. In some instances it could be enough to supply almost a million homes. Photovoltaic solar technology generates 56 gigawatts (GWh) of electricity and this means that this is more than enough electricity to meet the needs of many businesses, industries and residents within the state of Hawaii. The 56 GWh output in 2010 was enough electricity to cover 51% of Hawaii’s total energy consumption.

Photovoltaic or solar panel energy is featured on many homes and businesses within Hawaii. Photovoltaic technology transforms sunlight into electricity primarily through the use of silicon materials. Solar panels can be situated onto structure or grouped into a cluster on property. Solar panel systems typically use a battery to store energy that can be used during the night. Hawaii also has large solar panel systems that grouped together large farms. These solar farms are spread out over the different islands which make up Hawaii. Solar panels not only provide electricity they’re also used to heat up water. These types of systems are called solar water heating systems and they too are used by businesses and homes.

Most homes and businesses that use solar technology typically see a return on their investment in as little as 4 years. This is an extremely short amount of time when compared with other states that are located on mainland of the United States. The cost of installing a solar panel system is typically high but in Hawaii these expenses are slightly lower. Most homes within the U.S. will pay at least $18,000 for the average solar panel system but single family home PV systems are about $15,000 in Hawaii.

The state of Hawaii offers tax credits and incentives that could reduce the overall amount of a system by thousands of dollars. Businesses can even receive credits up to $500,000 depending on the size of the operation. Solar panel credits that are given in Hawaii are considered some of the best in the U.S. Hawaii residents can also save money through their solar panel systems by using a process called net metering. This process allows solar panel system owners to generate electricity back into Hawaii’s energy grid for a discount on their monthly utility bill.

Solar panel systems are complex and they must be installed by licensed and trained professionals in order for people to receive the benefits from this type of power. One company that performs solar panel installation is called Solar Energy Hawaii. This company performs residential and commercial installation of solar panel systems. They also help people with financing their systems and to receive the tax breaks and incentives that are typically given with these types of systems. Solar energy is the power source that will provide the state of Hawaii with the electricity that it will need for its citizens well into the future.