Tax Reduction and Renewable Energy In Hawaii

In a joint Republican Caucus Package Press Conference, Senator Sam Slom addresses tax reduction ideas and solutions for Hawaii citizens. Representative Cynthia Thielen speaks on the need for renewable energy in Hawaii.

Fact Sheet On Renewable Energy In Hawaii Present Energy Uses In Hawaii Hawaii‘s Present Energy Situation:

  1. In its 2006 Annual Report, the Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism’s Energy Resources Coordinator identified Hawaii as the most oil-dependent of the 50 states. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2006,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc06.pdf pg 1)

  1. Nearly 77% of the state’s electricity and over 99% of its transportation fuels are produced from petroleum fuels. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 1)

  1. Nearly 89% of Hawaii’s total energy is imported petroleum. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

  1. Together, imported fossil fuels-coal and oil-represent almost 94% of Hawaii’s energy consumption. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

Costs Of Present Energy Situation:

  1. Hawaii‘s residents pay among the nation’s highest prices for electricity and fuel in the nation. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 1)

Ø Residential Electricity (Cents per kwh-September 2007): o State Average – 23.51o National Average – 10.94o Hawaii vs. Nation – 114.9%(U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6a.html) Ø Gasoline o State Average – $3.36o National Average – $2.99o Hawaii vs. Nation – 12.4%(AAA Fuel Gauge Report, December 20, 2007))

  1. Consumers spent an estimated 6.17 billion for energy in 2006-12% more than in 2005. This is primarily due to high oil prices. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

The Need For Renewable Energy:

  1. Energy—its supply and use— is critical to Hawaii’s economy. How much fuel is imported and how efficiently it is used impacts each resident’s personal life and business activities. A stable energy supply is essential to continued prosperity. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2006,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc06.pdf pg 1)

  1. Every barrel of oil saved translates to more dollars available in the local economy, in addition to the many environmental benefits. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2006,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc06.pdf pg 1)

Present Renewable Uses:

  1. In 2006, renewable energy production increased by 9.8% during 2006. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

  1. In total, renewables provided nearly 19.2 trillion Btu in 2006 (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

  1. In 2006 Hawaii’s total primary energy consumption was 318.7 trillion Btu (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

Renewable Energy Sources Breakdown Solar Thermal Energy System:

  1. In “solar thermal” systems, the sun heats up a fluid. The most common example is a solar water heater.

  1. An estimated 80,000 single family homes, multi-unit dwellings and institutional facilities in Hawaii are served by solar water heaters. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/renewable/solar)

  1. 90% of solar water heating system owners said their systems were performing as well or better than they expected. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Hawaii Renewable Energy Tax Credit,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/taxcredits06.pdf)

  1. 85% said their water heating systems had never required any major repairs (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Hawaii Renewable Energy Tax Credit,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/taxcredits06.pdf)

  1. 83% of solar water heating system owners say their utility bill savings meet or exceed what they expected before they brought the system. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Hawaii Renewable Energy Tax Credit,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/taxcredits06.pdf)

  1. Solar water heating systems can save the average home owner about 30-50% on monthly utility bills. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Hawaii Renewable Energy Tax Credit,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/taxcredits06.pdf)

Wind Energy:

  1. Energy from the wind used to produce electricity.

  1. Wind energy systems are one of the most cost-effective homebased renewable energy systems. (U.S. Department Of Energy, “Small Wind Electric Systems: A Hawaii Consumers Guide, http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy07osti/42033.pdf)

  1. Depending on the wind resource, a small wind energy system can lower electricity bill by 50% to 90%, to help avoid the high costs of extending utility power lines to remote locations, prevent power interruptions, and it is nonpolluting. (U.S. Department Of Energy, “Small Wind Electric Systems: A Hawaii Consumers Guide, http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy07osti/42033.pdf)

  1. Although wind energy systems involve a significant initial investment, they can be competitive with conventional energy sources when accounting for a lifetime of reduced or avoided utility costs. (U.S. Department Of Energy, “Small Wind Electric Systems: A Hawaii Consumers Guide, http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy07osti/42033.pdf)

  1. There has been a huge increase in wind production due to electricity from new facilities, Kaheawa Wind Power, and Hawaii Renewable development. Result is that wind generated 69 billion Btu in 2005, rising to 846 billion Btu in 2006.

  1. Despite these increases, Wing Generated Btu is still less than 1% of total primary energy. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 2)

  1. Accomplishments and proposal to increase wind power usage in the state:

Ø The Pakini Nui wind farm at South point on the Big Island began exporting electricity to HELCO in 2007. The facility is capable of generating 20MW. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 10) Ø The state’s largest renewable energy plant-a wind farm of up to 400 MW-has been proposed for Lanai. Electricity from the facility would be exported to Oahu via submarine cable, and the wind turbines could provide up to 20% of Oahu’s power requirements. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 10) Photovoltaic:

  1. In “photovoltaic” (PV) systems, solar cells convert the sun’s light (not its heat) into electricity. A common example is a solar cell on a solar-powered calculator.

  1. The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) notes that Hawaii is among the best five markets for PV in the nation. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Photovoltaic Energy In Hawaii,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/pv-report06.pdf pg.2)

  1. Although hard data is not available, it is believed that the County of Hawaii has thousands of photovoltaic systems, mostly in remote subdivisions not serviced by the electric utility, more than any other comparable area in the U.S. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Photovoltaic Energy In Hawaii,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/pv-report06.pdf pg.2)

  1. Data on PV costs and performance in Hawaii are very limited. In Hawaii, only a relatively few PV systems, primarily but not exclusively those installed with electric utility sponsorship, have been monitored to document their electricity output. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Photovoltaic Energy In Hawaii,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/pv-report06.pdf pg. 2)

  1. The U.S. Department of Energy, in one of its publications, asserts that PV prices are cost-effective in Hawaii today:

Ø If utility electricity rates are $0.20 per kilowatt-hour, the breakeven PV price is given as $9.70 per watt14. Ø Residential electricity rates are already above that level on all islands except Oahu, and the typical installed cost of a residential grid-tied PV system appear to be near or below the USDOE’s breakeven point. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Photovoltaic Energy In Hawaii,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/pv-report06.pdf pg 11-12)

  1. In its report on photovoltaic, DBEDT made the following observation. State incentives to accelerate the adoption of solar electric technologies will be very helpful in reducing this barrier, particularly on Oahu where rates are lower than they are on the other islands. Raising the ceiling for photovoltaic tax credits will make this incentive more meaningful, given typical installation costs for both residential and commercial systems. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Photovoltaic Energy In Hawaii,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/pv-report06.pdf 12-13 )

  1. Accomplishments and proposal to increase PV usage in the state:

Ø The largest solar power plant in Hawaii was proposed for the island of Lanai in 2007. A contract o build the 1.5 MW PV facility has been signed and approvals are being sought. The plant could provide 30% of Lanai’s electricity. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 10) Ø Rooftop PV systems for thousands of military homes are being installed on Oahu; combined they will total 6 MW over the next decade. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 10) Ø Niihau Island School became the state’s first solar-powered educational institution through the installation of a 10.4-KW PV system. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “State Of Hawaii Energy resources coordinator Annual Report 2007,” http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/erc07.pdf pg 10) Wave Energy:

  1. Energy from ocean waves, tides, or currents can be used to produce electricity.

  1. Wave power is among the technologies that can contribute to the goal of reduced dependence on imported oil. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Wave Energy In Hawaii,” April 2006, http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/wave2006.pdf)

  1. Wave power was acknowledged to be an emerging technology well suited for Hawaii in a 2002 (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Wave Energy In Hawaii,” April 2006, http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/wave2006.pdf)

  1. According to a study completed in 1992, the annual wave energy resource off the northern shores of the Hawaiian Islands far exceeds the electricity demand of all but one of the major islands. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Wave Energy In Hawaii,” April 2006, http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/wave2006.pdf)

Ø The exception is Oahu, which has a large population and high electricity demand which is comparable to two-thirds of the available wave energy resource. (Department of Business Economic Development And Tourism, “Wave Energy In Hawaii,” April 2006, http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/publications/wave2006.pdf)

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