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Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by richkae, Sep 7, 2013.
Hawaiian Electric to shut down Honolulu power plant in January - Pacific Business News
My understanding is that the main source of energy used in Hawaii is based off petroleum, and the state has to import an obscene amount of oil in order to meet it's energy needs. The price of electricity is also about twice as high as the average of all states. The state of Hawaii would definitely benefit from increased use of renewables.
Only if they are cheaper than fossil fuels.
Otherwise, prices will be even higher, like in most areas that use alternative energy sources.
This is incorrect.
The payback period for new solar installations in Hawaii is 2-3 years. Electricity from oil is super expensive, running in the 30 - 45 cents per kWh range.
With solar available at $2 per watt installed, and 7-8 hours of sun per day on average, you have free electricity after 2-3 years - without any need for incentives.
$100 a barrel oil and the drop in price of solar have made Hawaii the best possible place for massive conversion to renewables.
There is no cheaper fossil fuel alternative because you would have to ship the fuel to Hawaii *and* build new powerplants.
There is no way that the cost of shipping the fuel to Hawaii and building new powerplants can compete with renewables there.
A new coal plant would be $3.1 per watt http://www.synapse-energy.com/Downloads/SynapsePaper.2008-07.0.Coal-Plant-Construction-Costs.A0021.pdf and because of the massive difference between peak load required during the day and tiny base load at night it would run at a fraction of its capacity most of the time.
Since Hawaii has little industrial load ( night time base load ) and massive residential load ( day time ), it makes the case even stronger for solar.
Hawaii fits strongly within your "only if they are cheaper than fossil fuels" scenario.
Hawaii Sails Past Solar Grid Parity, Surprised by Additional Roadblocks | CleanTechnica
Well, in Hawaii, installing home rooftop solar is already cheaper than fossil fuels. It has a payback time of, IIRC, less than five years. So it's really a no-brainer in Hawaii: Hawaii should be run off 100% renewables ASAP.
I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories much, but it really makes you wonder when it makes so much sense to switch to renewables, and yet it takes so long and we're still over 90% reliant on burning of oil for energy production here.
It's a bit more understandable when you had to front the cost of the system, but now with business models that require no money upfront and instant savings (ala Solar City) there's no reason not to get it.