Aug 26, 2015

Hawaii could run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2045

3 min
Hawaii Governor David Ige has ambitious energy plans for his state, and he discussed these plans at the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summ...

Hawaii Governor David Ige has ambitious energy plans for his state, and he discussed these plans at the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit in Honolulu this week. Instead of switching the state’s energy production plants from petroleum to natural gas, Governor Ige asserted that his administration intends to guide Hawaii toward 100 percent renewable energy reliance by 2045.

RELATED CONTENT: Competitive wind energy prices could help the U.S. increase interest in renewables

Why Hawaii? As a chain of islands, it’s a state unlike any other state in the Union—and as The Nation reports, this fact also makes it a state with unique energy needs:

Residents pay the highest rates for electricity of any state in the union. Last year, before the recent oil price drop, residential electricity averaged around 36 cents per kilowatt hour (the US average is 12 cents/kwh). On the mainland, states that do not generate enough electricity themselves can import it from their neighbors. Islands in the middle of the Pacific just have what they can make themselves. Because Hawaii’s energy plants were built before it was economical to ship natural gas as LNG, they for the most part use petroleum. The high oil prices of the past decade are estimated to have cost Hawaii some $5 billion extra that was not anticipated.


With the oil industry in constant flux, Hawaii is making the decision to move away from a reliance on petroleum to a more stable source of fuel to power its energy plants. But while the expectation would be a switch to liquefied natural gas (LNG), Hawaii’s government posits that renewable energy like solar and wind power should no longer be thought of as simply an “alternative” supplement but a viable primary source.

RELATED CONTENT: Hawaii's SunPower Solar Farm Part of State's Renewable Energy Program

In his address at the Innovation Summit, Ige noted several reasons why he and his administration are pursuing the potential of renewable energy over LNG:

 Ige said Monday that LNG (liquefied natural gas) will not save the state money over time, given the plummeting prices of renewables. Moreover, “it is a fossil fuel,” i.e., it emits dangerous greenhouse gases. He explained that local jurisdictions in Hawaii are putting up a fight against natural gas, making permitting difficult. Finally, any money put into retooling electric plants so as to run on gas, he said, is money that would better be invested in the transition to green energy.


This puts Hawaii in a unique situation of being a sort of “canary in the coalmine” for the viability of full reliance on renewable energy in the United States. It’s always difficult being the first, but in this case Ige’s administration has the support of the Hawaii Electric Company and a substantial ally on its side: the U.S. military.

RELATED CONTENT: Massive Military Solar Project Commences in Hawaii

Already a major driver of the state’s economy, the military could use this mandate from Hawaii as another way to enhance security and fulfill federal clean power mandates as well:

Some 50 percent of the electricity generated in Hawaii is bought by the US military. The Department of Energy has a mandate from the Obama administration to use more green energy, and Governor Ige and HECO are finding the admirals and generals enthusiastic partners in their plans for 100 percent renewables. In fact, the Navy, the Army, and the Marines all hope to generate up to a gigawatt of electricity themselves on bases throughout the United States. The Navy’s self-imposed deadline for doing so is only 18 months away.


If Hawaii is able to achieve this goal and set standards, this could pave the way for enhanced renewable energy production in the Continental United States. It will be interesting to see how the state fares further down the line. But as it stands, Hawaii’s largest powers are all invested in green energy success.

[SOURCE: The Nation

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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