Hawaii residents pay the highest rates for electricity in the United States. In 2012, Hawaiian residents paid more than 34 cents per kilowatt-hour. That is more than three times higher than the average in the rest of the United States. When compared with states such as Wyoming who average around 7 cents per kilowatt-hour and noticing the disconnect between Hawaii and the rest of the country, it’s easy to see why Hawaii is in desperate need of a local, consistent, cheap energy source.
Each of Hawaii’s six main islands has its own electrical grid. The chart below illustrates the electrical use for each island/grid with the total use in GWh for the entire state of Hawaii. Note that twenty-eight percent of the kWh of electricity use are residential, while seventy-eight percent ...view middle of the document...
In 2012, the PGV produced 266 GWh of electricity which represented twenty-three percent of Hawaii’s (the island, not the state) total consumable electricity.
The chart below illustrates how energy from the PGV is broken down by kilowatt-hour:
The data above suggests that by utilizing the probable geothermal reserves in Hawaii and Maui, the cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour would dramatically decrease bringing Hawaii more in line with the rest of America. Using the following formulas, we can calculate annual savings that geothermal energy would provide to Residential Customers statewide:
* Hawaii Annual Energy Use (GWh): 9639 X .28 (percentage of kWh used by Residential Customers) = 2698.92 GWh = 2,698,920,000 kWh per year
* 2,698,920,000 / 415,600 (Residential Customers) = 6494 kWh per residential customer per year
* 6494 X .34 (what residents paid per kWh in 2012) = $2207.96
* 6494 X .206 (peak cost of geothermal energy) = $1337.76
* Annual savings to Residential Customers of Hawaii: $870.20 (minimum savings)
As you can see, from an economic standpoint, it would logical to invest and expand the geothermal capabilities that are abundant in the state of Hawaii.
[ 1 ]. Hawaii State Energy Office. 2013. Hawaii Energy Facts & Figures. [ONLINE] Available at: http://energy.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/FF_June2013_R2.pdf. [Accessed 12 March 14].
[ 2 ]. ibid
[ 3 ]. ibid
[ 4 ]. Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc.; “2012 Electricity Producon & Purchased Power Summary.”
[ 5 ]. Hawaii State Energy Office. 2013. Hawaii Energy Facts & Figures. [ONLINE] Available at: http://energy.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/FF_June2013_R2.pdf. [Accessed 12 March 14].