Hawaii has cut oil imports by 41% since ’06
Hawaii’s annual petroleum use has declined by 20.2 million barrels over a 10-year period.
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Hawaii has made progress toward its goal of lowering its dependence on oil, cutting the number of barrels imported by 41 percent since 2006.
Hawaii’s annual petroleum use has declined by 20.2 million barrels over a 10-year period, according to data released Tuesday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. In 2015 Hawaii imported
28.8 million barrels, down from 49 million barrels in 2006. Fossil fuel used by Hawaii’s electrical utilities fell to 9.2 million in 2015 from 12.2 million barrels in 2006.
In 2014 Gov. David Ige mandated that 100 percent of isle electrical utilities’ sales come from renewable energy by the year 2045.
“Much more remains to be done,” Ige said in a statement. “Despite our advances, such as the recent rapid growth of renewable energy in Hawaii’s electricity sector, more than 80 percent of Hawaii’s energy system-wide still comes from petroleum.”
Eugene Tian, chief economist at DBEDT, said that as the number of imported barrels of crude oil declined, renewable sources increased. Renewable sources and efficiency contributed 8.2 percent of electricity demand in 2006 and 23.4 percent of the total electricity demand in 2015, Tian said.
The recent drop in oil prices led to a rise in fossil fuel consumption in Hawaii in 2015, Tian said. The average oil price decreased by 47.5 percent to $48.8 per barrel in 2015 from $93 per barrel in 2014.
On Tuesday DBEDT released the 2016 Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report, showing the state’s progress in breaking away from its dependence on oil. The report says about 25 percent of Hawaii’s electric power comes from renewable sources.
“In 2016, Hawaii’s clean energy transformation continued its momentum as more solar and wind power were added to the state’s electrical grids, boosting renewable energy to nearly one quarter of all utility electricity sale,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of DBEDT.
The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative added
42,823 megawatt-hours of renewable energy since 2014. Hawaiian Electric Co. added 130,560 megawatt-hours of renewable power, a 12.7 percent increase from 2014.
Salaveria said solar resources played a key role on Oahu — nearly a third of single-family homes now have rooftop PV systems.
Also in 2015 the state ended a popular solar incentive program called net energy metering — the program credited solar owners the retail rate helping some reduce their electrical bills to $17.
The decision led to a rough year for the solar industry: Nearly 442 solar employees lost their jobs, there was a 29 percent reduction in the number of permits pulled by contractors to install solar energy systems from the year before, and one of the top 25 contractors lost a license.
“Construction spending from solar PV installations has slowed from unsustainable levels reached during the peak of Hawaii’s solar boom in 2012,” the report said. “The solar industry is still a significant contributor to the construction sector.”
Solar-related construction spending totaled $570 million in 2015, according to DBEDT.
The report also said DBEDT would focus on cutting fossil fuel use in ground transportation.
The state said, “Hawaii has much ground to make up in shifting the enormous amount of energy used on transportation from petroleum to renewable resources.”
Hawaii’s electric vehicle fleet reached 5,009 total registered EVs in November.