Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hawaii Energy: Research Sites

Web Sites

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) State Energy Office

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA): Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA)

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is an organized research unit of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM).

Hawaiian Electric Companies: HECO, MECO, HELCO


Mark Glick is the public face promoting the energy policies of Hawai`i Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Jacqueline Kozak Thiel has been appointed as Hawai`i’s new State Sustainability Coordinator.

Hawaii Public Utilities (PUC) Commissioner Commissioner Lorraine Akiba


In 2001 Parker Ranch installed a solar/wind hybrid system; at the time perhaps the largest hybrid wind/solar system in the world. Today Parker Ranch is embarking on another cutting edge idea: building a green micro-grid for the Ranch and Waimea.

Military Micro-Grids (SPIDERS) Pose a Disruptive Technology Threat to traditional utilitiesHawaiian Electric Company (HECO) blackouts in 2006 and 2008 knocked out power to key military installations.  The military is the largest energy user in the country, global oil price spikes since 2008 and costly and risky fuel convoys are forcing the military to re-think generation and transmission options.


Some geothermal proponents claim that King Kalakaua came up with the idea for powering Hawai`i with geothermal and undersea electric transmission lines. The statement is often quoted but the original citation is rarely cited. Is the statement valid?

Smart Grids

Some energy advocates want to merge electricity delivery, telecommunications, weather stations and computers into one large costly complex Smart Grid. How vulnerable are Smart Grids to hackers? Could the entire grid crash due to one hacker sitting at a computer somewhere in the world?

Climate Change

University of Hawaii  researchers  have crunched the numbers and determined when world cities will have their average temperature will match the current hottest temperature of the year.

Uncomfortable Ideas 

Energy Efficiency is the low hanging fruit that may increase energy demand and thus could make us more reliant on fossil fuel.

Hawai`i state law allows largely fossil fuel powered islands to claim renewable energy penetration levels exceeding 100 percent. It is all in how definitions are manipulated.  The renewable energy penetration level can be manipulated in other ways. Adding a 10 kW solar unit to the grid or to a customers house creates the same amount of renewable energy but different solar penetration levels

HECO's Future

 Is HECO too big to fail?  What will the utility model of the future look like? Will customers abandon the grid in favor of stand-alone systems?  The views of Henry Curtis have expanded, evolved, transformed, and changed on this issue. 
By Henry Curtis

Alternative Energy

Sea Water Air Conditioning can power Waikiki with cold ocean water.

The Holistic Big Picture