Do you know what the required genrating capacity on all the islands are? They're miniscule by any standards. Maui, Kauai and Hawaii don't have enough population to support ANY nukes. Even if you could - what the hell do you do when the nuke you depend on goes down for maintenance? And what happens when sun don't shine or wind don't blow or waves don't form just when you need it? Renewables are great additions but they don't cut it as dependable base load. As far as LNG, it has already been looked at extensively again, the market size and conditions aren't attractive enough for any large players to spend the large capital necessary to enter the market.<quoted text>
This is an election year so you could start with a letter-writing campaign to your elected reps from local on up and raise HELL. Hawaii is at or near the breaking point on energy and you are about to self-destruct because of a philosophy. The fastest thing possible to give you some relief may not be popular, but it wont kill you to throw up an LNG terminal and convert some of your fossil burners to natural gas to keep some power on the grid. You are probably past the point of no return on getting electricity cheap ever again, but at least you could start now with serious planning for the future. One large nuke or two on the most populated islands and a few well-placed renewables will make a big difference. Meanwhile, conservation will go a long way. Unfortunately, voluntary conservation cant be depended upon, so look for conservation to become a code word for mandatory rationing and rolling blackouts. Good luck.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
#44 Apr 21, 2008
#45 Apr 21, 2008
Damn Booner, your analysis of our situation is an eye opener. I dont know if I wanted to know that much.
#46 Apr 21, 2008
Your cost arguments are well taken given the per capita spread and the unique limitations of choices in an island economy. You are dependent upon oil simply because that has been the cheapest and easiest fuel to deliver to your generating stations, until now. Your alternatives to blackouts in the near term are very limited. You either keep demanding oil regardless of cost or use another fossil fuel in its place, coal or natural gas. Coal is dirty and the pollution controls are expensive. NG is high and getting higher yet the demand for electricity is great and getting greater. Greater cost is a fact of life and nothing is going to make it cheaper, especially in the near term. I have not forgotten conservation, but at your prices I am sure that conservation will be inevitable without my encouragement.
Solutions to keeping electricity affordable and available is the key to prosperity. How do we do that? The first thing we need to do is break the mold of thinking of only one source as a solution. Your analysis clearly indicates the folly of one-source, not to mention HI's actual history of dependence on a single source already....oil.
I certainly don't think a single nuke on each island is the answer to all electricity needs nor is anything else. But at least a small one, say a 500 MW unit on each of the 3 most populated islands with natural gas as a backup for when one is down would provide very good service, especially given that nukes tend to be on-line on a >90% basis. But that would still not be an answer to peak and cyclic loading or niches in new technologies which could be serviced off grid.
Actually my last post was more about short-term solutions for HI, which would rule out nukes for now (but not in the ~ 10-year future). NG could be quickly raised as the stop-gap measure. Renewables can be thrown up quickly, but not cheaply and may not meet the expected needs anyway. In the longer term renewables are just as essential to the mix, and if a slower approach is taken, the growth of loads may be more carefully planned to match the intermittency of solar and wind.
If you tuned in on some of my earlier postings you would see that I do know what your capacity needs are. As I mentioned before, your existing capacity is around 2500 MW (DOE data) but your overall capacity factor is only around 50% and you are 90% dependent upon oil. That being so, you don't have a capacity crisis, you have a FUEL crisis, thus no extreme urgent need for new capacity. In the short term you could make better use of your existing capacity by pioneering large scale batteries first instead of rushing to put solar on the grid. Large batteries are now on the market, just not cheap.
I believe the proper approach is to quit thinking of our energy sources as a popularity contest, especially in HI where you are at or near an economic crisis. HIs focus should be on getting off oil as quickly as possible even if it means burning more coal in the short term.
#47 May 22, 2008
If you think nuclear power is a great alternative choice and wish to hold this position please watch the following YouTube video. It's the best overall analysis of the real world conditions of nuclear energy infrastructure I have ever seen. If you are wondering why there are not many new nuclear projects moving forward you might have to blame Amory Lovins:
#48 May 22, 2008
I offered a video before about the financial reasons nuclear power no longer make sense. Now check out the other non-financial reasons. This is extremely factual and scared the heck out of me! After you watched both videos (the one I posted before) and still think nuclear is a good idea then you are either a nuclear scientist or crazy. lol. Why would you want to deal with all when the cost effective alternatives are here and proven. Regardless, no new reactors are likely to be approved anyway so the point is mute. Enjoy the great talk by Gordon Edwards!
#49 May 23, 2008
I think many people posted about what the real issue is. I agree with those that brought up the electrical storage issue. Without a good plan for electrical storage reaching 70 percent renewable is almost impossible. Unless you are going to have the bulk of the energy production come from geothermal a great plan is needed. Here are the options:
Pumped Storage Hydro
Molten salt - Pressurized steam
That should be the start of every discussion. If you don't have a good storage plan you are starting off on a very weak base. Let's get some very bright people on this and figure out what will work both technically and financially. Have the government sign-on to it with a written commitment. Then we can all get to work.
#50 May 23, 2008
In the mean time we can all start having PV solar panels installed on our houses and in our fields. A huge rebate program like California and Austin, Texas had (has) is required. Just look at Germany's plan. New technology is now available to make this a reality because the cost has been dramatically lowered. Just visit www.nanosolar.com and get the details. Full production was started in December of last year. We need to make an agreement with Nanosolar, give them several hundred million dollars and have dedicated factories built (mainland would be better - cheaper) As this all ramps up we can get working on the electrical storage infrastructure.
Wind power? Yes. The maps are all complete and the good areas are known. Let's speed up the process of getting things approved. Well proven technology.
Electric cars? Huge incentives should be given. Make sure Hawaii is very friendly to electric cars. Very.
Bikes? Hawaii is not bike friendly. We should be kissing and hugging all people that walk and ride bikes. Not able to ride bikes on public sidewalks? This is crazy! Riding a bike on the side of the road with cars only a foot away is extremely dangerous. Japan is a good model to follow on this subject. Bikes everywhere. It is part of their life. It should be part of ours as well.
We may not have a choice in some of the things I have mentioned. If oil continues on it's current path there will be less tourism revenue to pay for more expensive imports. Something has to give.
#51 May 23, 2008
Just as a consideration and just for discussion and debate let's say man's contribution to global warming is negligibe. Like a fart in the wind.
Let's also assume for arguments sake that oil is plentiful. Enough to fuel our needs for in increasing world population for the next several centuries and beyond.
Would you still push for an oil free Hawaii?
#52 May 23, 2008
Denmark produces 1/4 of its electricity via wind energy. Coupled with solar water heating, 1/3 of the HI's electicity needs could be accounted for. Fast, also. No long-lead construction to wait for.
Isn't that something?
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