According to Hawaiian Electric, 38% of the energy consumed last year came from renewable sources
Hawaiian Electric announced today that it increased its renewable energy production over the past year, thanks to a full year of geothermal production and an increase in solar symptoms on residential rooftops.
Hawaiian Electric‘s consolidated renewable portfolio standard — which represents the share of renewable energy consumed by customers in total utility revenue — was 38.4% in 2021, up from 34.5% in 2020. Renewable energy comes from Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui counties.
“Everyone owns a part of this remarkable advancement,” said Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric, in a press release. “It’s a major step forward in Hawaii’s transition away from dependence on imported fossil fuels, and we’re confident we can meet our goal of reducing carbon emissions from power generation by 70% by 2030 by continuing to collaborate with our communities, government and other stakeholders.”
Over the past decade, the company says it has nearly quadrupled the amount of renewable energy in its power grids, up from just under 10% in 2010. With a consolidated portfolio of 35 renewables, it also has the required 30% standard in 2020 exceeded %.
The standard is mandated by the state, which requires that a certain percentage of the electricity sold by utilities come from renewable resources. Hawaii has set a standard of 40% by 2030 and 100% by 2045.
According to Hawaiian Electric, 4,956 residential rooftop systems with a capacity of 53 megawatts were added to the company’s five island grids last year, resulting in a higher RPS percentage. The increases were partially offset by a roughly 2% increase in electronics sales.
However, challenges lie ahead as developers reconsider some of the large renewable energy projects planned for Oahu. Hawaiian Electric is also under pressure to bring more renewable energy online to offset the government-ordered closure of AES Hawaii’s 180 MW coal-fired power plant in Kapolei on September 1 of this year.
The renewable energy standard by island is as follows:
>> Oahu recorded 32.8% RPS, up from 30.5% in 2020. According to Hawaiian Electric, a full year of production at the Naa Pua Makani wind farm contributed to a nearly 7% increase in renewable energy.
>> Maui County achieved an RPS of 50.2%, down slightly from 50.8% in 2020. Although renewable energy production has increased across the county over the past year, the energy company said electricity sales rose 9% due to the strengthening of the tourism industry.
>> The island of Hawaii achieved 60% RPS, up from 43.4% in 2020, thanks to the return of Puna Geothermal Venture for a full year of partial capacity, according to Hawaiian Electric.