Hawaiian Electric reports renewable energy increase

Hawaiian Electric recently reported its use of renewable energy in 2019 increased over 2018 despite the lack of geothermal and lower wind energy production.

Last year, Hawaiian Electric said it achieved a 28.4% consolidated, renewable portfolio standard, surpassing 27% in 2018, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

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The state has set out to achieve a renewable portfolio standard — or production using renewable energy sources — of 100% by 2045. To stay on track, Hawaii must reach 30% by the end of 2020, 40% by the end of 2030, and 70% by the end of 2040.

Jim Alberts, senior vice president of business development and strategic planning, said in a statement the company was on track to meet the 30% standard by the end of this year.

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That’s based on the expectation that energy will be available from Puna Geothermal Venture, which was shut down due to the 2018 Kilauea eruption. The Star-Advertiser reported that had PGV been online in 2019, it would have added an estimated 3.7 percentage points to its renewable portfolio standard.

An increase in rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, as well as grid-scale solar projects, helped Hawaiian Electric increase its renewable energy percentage last year despite the setbacks, the newspaper reported. Energy generated by renewable resources increased by 156,064 megawatt-hours in 2019, a 6.7% increase from the previous year.

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