Hawaii is a place of great natural beauty, so it only makes sense that renewable energy would be utilized there to protect it. Conventional power generation in Hawaii has been mostly oil-based, but that appears to be changing.
Solar panel prices have been falling over the last several years. This trend is accelerating interest and sales in home and business solar systems. It’s not surprising that Hawaii would want to triple solar power. Hawaiian utilities want to generate 65% of their electricity from renewables by 2030. One way to help achieve that goal is by tripling the amount of rooftop solar power.
Reportedly, there was some frustration voiced by Hawaiian residents that the same utilities — called HECO — were making it difficult for them to get solar power systems.
State regulators told HECO in April that they need to better accommodate PV solar and grid access, “The Public Utilities Commission sent a strong message to Hawaiian Electric Companies Tuesday, saying the company is not moving fast enough to lower utility rates and connect more photovoltaic systems into the grid. Backed by the governor, the commission laid out an action plan on what the goals should be for the utility company.”
In the same month, an opinion poll showed that 90% of Hawaiians surveyed believed HECO was moving too slowly on the rooftop solar front. Well over 90% also said they wanted more of this type of renewable, clean energy.
About 70% of Hawaii’s electricity generation is achieved by burning imported petroleum. It’s not difficult to see how political the state’s energy situation is, especially considering how powerful the petroleum industry is nationally.
The spirit of the day appears to be solidly pro-solar, “While it should be a point of pride that Hawaii has the highest solar per capita in the country, it shouldn’t give us any reason to slow down. The people of Hawaii clearly want and expect more rooftop solar, and are looking to both HECO and to policymakers to advance policies that help increase access for homes and businesses,” explained a spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC).
Because Hawaii is very dependent upon on oil, the state is subject to price volatility. It was reported that the state spent another billion dollars due to surging oil prices in 2008.
It doesn’t make sense of Hawaii to remain dependent on imported oil, when the state has abundant sunshine and residents that want more clean energy.