Menu

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII – Is 100% Renewable Energy Attainable?

0 Comment


>>MAHEALANI: COMING UP NEXT
ON INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI’I, IS A 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY GOAL
ATTAINABLE?>>MAHEALANI: ALOHA AND
WELCOME TO INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAII.
I’M MAHEALANI RICHARDSON. HAWAI’I RELIES ON IMPORTED
OIL, GAS, AND COAL FOR 80% OF OUR ENERGY NEEDS MAKING US THE
MOST FOSSIL-FUEL-RELIANT STATE IN THE NATION.
ON MONDAY, THE GOVERNOR WILL SIGN INTO LAW A BILL SETS IN
MOTION A PATH TO USING ONLY RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES IN
30 YEARS. ALTHOUGH THE GOAL HAS WIDE
SUPPORT, HOW WE CHANGE COURSE AND IF WE CAN CHANGE COURSE IN
TIME IS STILL UP FOR DEBATE. TONIGHT ON INSIGHTS, IS 100%
RENEWABLE ENERGY GOAL ATTAINABLE? WE ENCOURAGE
VIEWERS TO JOIN TONIGHT’S CONVERSATION BY CALLING
973-1000 IF YOU LIVE ON OAHU. OR 800-238-4847 IF YOU’RE
CALLING FROM A NEIGHBOR ISLAND.
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH INSIGHTS STREAMED LIVE AT
PBSHAWAII.ORG. JUST CLICK ON THE INSIGHTS
LOGO, OR YOU CAN FIND US ON TWITTER @PBS HAWAI’I AND USE
THE #PBSINSIGHTS. NOW, TO OUR PANEL.
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS LEE REPRESENTS KAILUA, LANIKAI
AND WAIMANALO. AND IS THE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.
HE INTRODUCED THE LEGISLATION THAT REQUIRES THE STATE TO USE
100% RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES BY 2045.
SCOTT SEU IS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF SYSTEM OPERATION
FOR THE HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY.
HE’S WORKED FOR HECO FOR 21 YEARS STARTING OUT IN ITS
ENVIRONMENTAL DEPARTMENT. HE’S VOICED CONCERNS OVER THE
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY BILL ON
CONSUMERS. DR. REZA GHORBANI IS AN
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI’I. AND DIRECTOR OF THE RENEWABLE
ENERGY DESIGN LABORATORY. THE LAB FOCUSES ON
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION AND ENERGY
EFFICIENCY IN TRANSPORTATION.
AND JEFF MIKULINA IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BLUE
PLANET FOUNDATION, WHICH SUPPORTS A CLEAN, RENEWABLE
ENERGY SYSTEM IN HAWAI’I. HE WAS A LEADING VOICE IN
SUPPORT OF THE RENEWABLE ENERGY BILL.
GOOD EVENING TO YOU ALL AND THANKS FOR JOINING US
TONIGHT.>>THANK YOU.
>>MAHEALANI: REPRESENTATIVE LEE, WHY DON’T I START OFF
WITH YOU. COME MONDAY, THIS SETS IN
MOTION A HISTORIC LAW, DOESN’T IT?
>>THIS IS A NATIONAL FIRST. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WILL
CHANGE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY NOT JUST IN
HAWAI’I BUT THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.
WE HAVE DEBATES OVER CLIMATE CHANGE AND DO WE GET OFF
FOSSIL FUELS AND ALL OF THIS. FOR THE FIRST STATE, ENTIRE
STATE, WE’RE GOING TO TAKE THAT STEP AND MOVE TO 100%
RENEWABLE FUTURE IS A MONUMENTAL GAME CHANGER FOR
EVERYBODY.>>MAHEALANI: SO LET’S SAY IF
IT DOESN’T HAPPEN BY 2045, IS THERE ANY TEETH TO THE LAW?
>>THERE IS. RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE A LAW
ALREADY ON THE BOOKS THAT SAYS WE WANT TO BE HAWAI’I CLEAN
ENERGY INITIATIVE, ALSO KNOWN AS, BASICALLY, IT SAYS WE WANT
TO BE 40% RENEWABLE BY 2030. AND ANOTHER ADD TO THAT IS
ANOTHER 30% OF BEING MORE EFFICIENT.
SO REALLY, 70% BY 2030. THIS WOULD EXTEND THAT SAME
LAW TO 2045 TO 100%. SO RIGHT NOW, THE UTILITY HAS
TO MEET CERTAIN BENCHMARKS. FORTUNATELY, WE’RE AHEAD.
REALLY WANT TO GIVE CREDIT TO EVERYBODY WHO’S BEEN WORKING
ON THESE ISSUES BECAUSE WE ARE AT ROUGHLY 21, 22% RENEWABLE
RIGHT NOW WHICH IS WELL AHEAD OF WHERE WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE.
SO MAKING THAT LEAP TO 2045 I THINK, UTILITY DOES HAVE TO DO
IT, BUT I THINK THEY’RE IN A GOOD PLACE TO.
>>MAHEALANI: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BENCHMARKS ARE NOT MADE?
>>WELL, I’LL DEFER THAT QUESTION TO THE UTILITY.
RIGHT NOW, IN THE CURRENT LAW, THERE ARE PENALTIES BUILT IN,
MONETARY PENALTIES, ET CETERA.
IN ORDER TO COMPEL ACTION. BECAUSE WE’RE SEEING AND HAVE
SEEN IS WHEN UTILITIES ARE FORCED TO MAKE PARADIGM SHIFT
IN THEIR MODE OF OPERATIONS, TRADITIONAL IMPORT FOSSIL
FUELS AND BURN IT, WE WANT TO BUILD NEW RENEWABLE PROJECTS.
SOLAR WIND AND OTHER THINGS. NOT ONLY DOES IT SAVES MONEY
FOR THE CONSUMERS AND SETS UP WHOLE NEW GAME CHANGING PATH.
CREATED A WHOLE NEW RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE STATE AND,
SPAWNED THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND GREATEST FASTEST GROWING
SECTORS OF OUR ECONOMY IN RECENT YEARS.
THAT’S SOMETHING THAT THOSE TEETH HAVE PROVIDED.
>>MAHEALANI: CAN HECO DO THIS?
>>WELL, FIRST OFF, HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC, WE ARE ALSO VERY
COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING THE 100% RENEWABLE BILL.
AND THROUGHOUT THE SESSION, WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT
PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD THAT. WHEN I PRESENTED TESTIMONY,
MAINLY WHAT I WAS FOCUSED ON IS AS WE GO TOWARDS 100%
RENEWABLES, LET’S MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE MAKING THE RIGHT
DECISIONS AS FAR AS THE TECHNOLOGY CHOICES, MAKING
SURE THAT WE ARE ALL KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON WHAT THE
ELECTRIC BILL WILL BE TO MAKE SURE THAT ACTUALLY, WE
ACHIEVE THE GOAL OF 100% RENEWABLE AS WELL AS LOWERING
COST. AS FAR AS WHAT HAPPENS, CAN WE
ACHIEVE THIS? 30 YEARS IS A LONG TIME.
TECHNOLOGY IS ADVANCING. WE ARE FAR AHEAD OF WHERE WE
THOUGHT WE WOULD BE JUST A FEW YEARS AGO.
WE HAVE VERY BRIGHT, TALENTED PEOPLE IN THE STATE.
ELECTRIC COMPANY, INDUSTRY FOLKS, OUR PARTNERS,
UNIVERSITY, VERY BRIGHT FOLKS COMING OUT OF OUR COLLEGE OF
ENGINEERING. SHOUT OUT TO THOSE GUYS.
I THINK WE HAVE A LOT GOING FOR US HERE IN HAWAI’I.
>>MAHEALANI: I ASKED THE QUESTION EARLIER, IF HECO
DOESN’T MAKE THIS GOAL, WHAT KIND OF PENALTIES COULD YOU
FACE?>>WELL, THE RENEWABLE
PORTFOLIO STANDARD LAW IS SET UP SO THAT AS WE APPROACH
THESE VARIOUS CHECKPOINTS ALONG THE WAY, FOR EXAMPLE, IN
2020, WE HAVE TO BE AT 30% RENEWABLES.
WE HAVE TO SHOW THE DOCUMENTATION ON WHETHER OR
NOT WE’VE ACHIEVED THAT GOAL. AND IT WILL BE UP TO THE PUBLIC
UTILITIES COMMISSION TO DETERMINE, WELL, IF WE PASSED
THE GOAL, GREAT. EVERYTHING IS GOOD.
IF WE FALL SHORT OF THAT GOAL, WE HAVE TO DOCUMENT THE
REASONS WHY WE WEREN’T ABLE TO ACHIEVE THAT.
AND IT WILL BE UP TO THE PUC TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT WE
SHOULD BE PENALIZED. THERE IS A CERTAIN LIST OF
CRITERIA IN THE LAW THAT WILL HAVE DIFFERENT FACTORS THAT
THE PUC SHOULD CONSIDER. CERTAIN THINGS THAT MIGHT BE
OUTSIDE OF OUR CONTROL FOR EXAMPLE.
AND THEY’LL FACTOR THAT ALL IN.
>>MAHEALANI: YOU HAVE A GRAPHIC THAT SHOWS US WHERE WE
SHOULD BE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS.
CORRECT?>>YES.
IF WE CAN TAKE A LOOK AT THAT, YOU SEE WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED TO
DATE. INTERESTING, YOU SAID, CAN WE
MAKE THIS PIVOT? I THINK WE MADE THIS PIVOT LARGELY IN
FACT, PROBABLY DOUBLED RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION
IN THE PAST, I’D SAY 8 YEARS OR SO.
YOU CAN SEE ON THE CHART, INCREASING THERE, WE’VE
ACHIEVED ABOUT 21% STATEWIDE.>>MAHEALANI: SO THE BLUE LINE
IS THE HOUSE BILL THAT WILL BE SIGNED INTO LAW? I MEAN,
THAT’S PRETTY SIGNIFICANT COMPARED TO WHERE WE WERE
BEFORE?>>IT IS.
PARTICULARLY, IF YOU LOOK, IT STARTS AT 2000, BUT IF YOU
STRETCH THIS BACK A CENTURY, IT’S BEEN FAIRLY FLAT LIKE
THAT. IT CAME DOWN WHEN THE
PLANTATIONS CLOSED. WE DIDN’T USE THAT BIOMASS.
YOU’LL SEE THE BLUE GOES RIGHT UP TO 100% OVER THE NEXT THREE
DECADES. THAT’S REALLY EXCITING.
ONE OF THE DRIVERS THIS YEAR WAS HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CAME
OUT WITH A SOME SCENARIOS OF WHAT THEY COULD ACHIEVE AND
THEY HAD A PREFERRED PLAN THAT THEY RELEASED LAST AUGUST.
THAT’S REPRESENTED ON THE CHART THERE IN ORANGE.
YOU CAN SEE IT’S FAIRLY AGGRESSIVE GETTING UP TO 65%
BY 2030.>>67%.
>>2/3. YOU MIGHT NOT AGREE WITH THOSE
PLANS BUT IT SHOWS WHAT’S POSSIBLE. WE THINK WHAT’S
POSSIBLE THE NEXT THREE DAYS, I THINK, IS GOING TO ASTOUND
EVERYONE SITTING AT THIS TABLE JUST AS THE CHANGE IN
THE LAST FIVE YEARS HAS BEEN REALLY NOTABLE.
>>MAHEALANI: AT 30 YEARS. WE’RE ALL STILL GOING TO BE
ALIVE, ALL STILL GOING TO BE AROUND. IN SOME TERMS, ARE
WE READY? CAN WE MAKE THE CHANGE IN
THREE DECADES?>>I THINK WE ARE READY, EVEN
TODAY, TO PUT AS MUCH RENEWABLE ENERGY INTO THE
GRID AS POSSIBLE. IN TERMS OF WIND TURBINE, PV, THE COST
OF TECHNOLOGY IS COMING DOWN. THERE HAS BEEN LOTS OF RECENT
DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEW TYPE OF WIND TURBINES, NEW TYPE OF
SOLAR PANELS. ALSO, COST OF INSTALLATION
HAS BEEN REDUCED. IN TERMS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES.
LIKE BIOFUEL, WE DON’T HAVE ANY ISSUE, BUT IN TERMS OF,
THE GREAT CHALLENGE IS HOW TO MANAGE THE GRID. IF YOU GO
100% RENEWABLE, YOU HAVE TO SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE HOW YOU
OPERATE THE GRID. THE CONVENTIONAL WAY OF
LOOKING AT ONE COMPANY GENERATING FOR US AND WE JUST
USE IT IS GONE. THE CUSTOMERS MUST BE AWARE
THAT WHAT THEY HAVE IN FRONT OF THEM.
THEY SHOULD BE, THEY SHOULD KNOW THAT 100% RENEWABLE
MEANS THAT THE POWER IS ALWAYS CHANGING.
THE SUN GOES, WIND GOES, WAVES, BIOFUELS, CROPS,
EVERYTHING CAN CHANGE THEIR ENERGY.
SO BIGGER CHANGE IS HOW WE LOOK AT THE UTILITY
INFRASTRUCTURE, HOW WE, LET’S SAY, THE MORE WIND TURBINE YOU
PUT, PV YOU PUT, THE LESS INERTIA YOU HAVE IN THE
SYSTEM. THAT MEANS THAT A CAR THAT IS
GOING VERY FAST, BIG CAR, CONVERT THAT BIG CAR TO VERY,
VERY TINY SMALL CARS THAT HAVE NO INERTIA, BUT STILL NEED TO
GO VERY FAST. SO THEN THE CUSTOMERS MUST BE
VERY FLEXIBLE. THEY SHOULD COOPERATE. THE GRID
OPERATION WILL BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES WILL BE MERGED FROM DATA-DRIVEN
SYSTEMS LIKE DEMAND RESPONSE, CUSTOMER-DRIVEN
FLEXIBILITIES, A SWARM OPERATION.
EVERYBODY IS OPERATING TOGETHER TO HANDLE THIS. THE
CHALLENGE IS HOW WE OPERATE THE GRID OF 100% RENEWABLE
ENERGY. THE CHALLENGE IS NOT IF WE
CAN’T PUT 200% RENEWABLE ENERGY AND STILL THE COST CAN
BE THE SAME. CAN BE OPERATED 100%
RELIABLE? BE OPERATED 100% STABLE?
MAYBE SCOTT CAN ADDRESS SOME OF THOSE ISSUES.
THOSE ARE VERY SEPARATE FROM ME FROM A RESEARCHER
PERSPECTIVE AND EDUCATOR, AND ALSO, IT INCREASE MY HEART
RATE.>>IT INCREASES MY HEART RATE
TOO. DON’T WORRY. SCOTT’S GOT IT ALL WORKED OUT.
>>SPEAKING OF INCREASING HEART RATES, YOU’VE EXPRESSED
CONCERNS ABOUT THE CONSUMERS. I MEAN, WILL THEY HAVE TO PAY
MORE IN THE FUTURE AND IS THAT A REALITY?
>>WELL, I THINK WHAT YOU’RE HEARING IS THAT WE ALL BELIEVE
THAT THERE ARE RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES TODAY AS WELL AS
THERE’S A STRONG POTENTIAL THAT AS WE DEVELOP OVER THE 30
YEARS, WE WILL SEE EVEN MORE IMPROVED TECHNOLOGIES.
EVERYBODY HAS THEIR EYE ON THE BALL OF LOWERING COSTS WHILE
WE MOVE TOWARDS THE 100%. REALLY, TO THE POINT THAT REZA
MADE, I AM ACTUALLY THE GRID OPERATOR FOR OAHU, RIGHT, OR
AT LEAST THE FOLKS THAT I WORK WITH ARE THE ONES THAT ARE IN
THE CONTROL ROOM. AS WE MOVE TOWARDS 100%
RENEWABLE FUTURE, ABSOLUTELY, WE NEED TO HAVE
THE RIGHT MIXTURE OF TYPES OF RESOURCES FOR US TO OPERATE SO
THAT WE CAN KEEP THIS ELECTRIC SYSTEM IN PERFECT BALANCE AND
EVERYTHING WORKING IN HARMONY. IT WILL TAKE SOME
CREATIVE THINKING IN TERMS OF HOW OUR CUSTOMERS WILL BE ABLE
TO USE THEIR ELECTRIC LOAD TO HELP US KEEP THINGS IN
BALANCE. IT IS EXCITING. I JOKINGLY SAID IT MAKES MY
HEART RACE. WE STILL WILL HAVE LOTS OF WORK TO FIGURE
OUT, BUT THAT’S THE PROMISE OF THE FUTURE.>>MAHEALANI:
REPRESENTATIVE LEE FROM A LEGISLATIVE STANDPOINT,
WHICH RENEWABLE TYPE OF ENERGY DO YOU THINK THAT
LAWMAKERS IN THE STATE WILL PUSH THE MOST BECAUSE THERE’S
STILL SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM NOW.
>>WELL, SURE. IT’S NOT REALLY THE LEGISLATURE’S JOB
TO PICK AND CHOOSE WHICH TECHNOLOGY IS GOING TO BE THE
ONE TO GO. IF WE COULD PROGNOSTICATE THAT, THE WORLD
WOULD BE AN AMAZINGLY BETTER PLACE. I THINK THE
LEGISLATURE’S JOB A REALLY TO SET THOSE LONG-TERM GOALS.
THAT’S REALLY WHAT THIS IS. IF YOU DIAL BACK TO 2007,
2008, WHEN THE FIRST SET OF RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO
STANDARDS WERE PUT ON THE BOOKS, NOBODY KNEW WHAT THIS
GRAND EXPERIMENT WAS REALLY GOING TO PRODUCE.
WE WANT TO TRY TO ADVANCE AS MUCH POTENTIAL RENEWABLE
ENERGY WHETHER IT’S PV OR WIND OR GEOTHERMAL OR WHAT HAVE
YOU, BUT IT WASN’T THE LEGISLATURE’S JOB TO,
EVEN THEN, LOOK OUT AND SAY, ALL RIGHT, IT’S GOING TO BE
THIS ONE. WE DON’T WANT TO TRY AND PICK AND CHOOSE.
WHAT’S REALLY NEAT IS WE HAVE GOAL. WE’RE GOING TO LEAVE
IT TO EVERYBODY ELSE TO TRY TO COME UP WITH THAT SUITE OF
OPTIONS. WE’VE ALREADY SEEN IN THIS LAST DECADE, PV TAKING
OFF FOR HOMES AND COMMERCIAL USE. THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF
COMMERCIAL WIND PUT IN THAT’S REALLY REDUCED COST. EVEN
TODAY, IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT’S COMING DOWN THE PIKE,
REALLY EXCITING STUFF, HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS AND
WHATNOT. ALL THIS MEANS, AS THE
LEGISLATURE KIND OF REFLECTS ON THIS, IS THAT WE’VE SEEN
SUCCESS. WE’VE SEEN THE LAST DECADE
WITH THIS TARGET WE’VE HAD IN HAND ALREADY ON THE BOOKS WORK
OUT. THAT’S LED TO REDUCED COSTS.
SEEN HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN SAVINGS. I THINK
2012 WAS ROUGHLY 67 MILLION BY ITSELF.
SWITCHING TO RENEWABLES HAS SAVED BECAUSE THAT’S JUST
LESS OIL WE HAVE TO IMPORT WHICH IS WAY MORE EXPENSIVE.
ON TOP OF THAT, YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT’S COMING.
TECHNOLOGY IS GETTING CHEAPER.
THAT’S, FUNDAMENTAL LONG TERM VIEW.
RENEWABLE ENERGY IS INEVITABLY GOING TO BE
CHEAPER THAN FOSSIL FUELS. SIMPLY FOR THE FACT THAT IT’S
A TECHNOLOGY. AS IT EVOLVES, IT GETS
CHEAPER. AS A FOSSILE FUEL COMMODITY
DIMINISHES, INEVITABLY, IT WILL GET MORE EXPENSIVE AND
MORE DIFFICULT TO EXTRACT. WE HAVE TWO COMPETING
PARADIGMS. WE WANT TO BE POSITIONED, TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THE TECHNOLOGY THAT’S CHEAPENING, THAT’S
SAVING PEOPLE MONEY. THE SOONER WE CAN DO THAT, THE
SOONER WE CAN STOP IMPORTING OIL TO THE TUNE OF BILLIONS OF
DOLLARS THAT WE’RE EXPORTING OUT OF OR ECONOMY.
>>MAHEALANI: MR. MIKULINA, WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, OR
WE, JUST AMERICA HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT ENERGY
CONSERVATION, RENEWABLE SOURCES, SINCE BACK IN THE
SEVENTIES. AND IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY TIME
SOMEONE COMES INTO PRESIDENCY, THEY TALK ABOUT
IT AND THEN THERE’S NO STEP FORWARD.
DO YOU SEE US MOVING FORWARD TRULY THIS TIME AROUND?
>>CERTAINLY. WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS
FOR PROBABLY OVER A CENTURY. WE HAVE AN OLD LETTER TO THE
EDITOR IN THE HONOLULU ADVERTISER TALKING ABOUT
TAPPING INTO THE PALI WINDS TO FUEL HONOLULU.
CERTAINLY, I THINK THIS PRESIDENT HAS PROBABLY TAKEN
MORE LEAPS THAN ANY IN PUTTING IN POLICIES TO DRIVE OUR CLEAN
ENERGY FUTURE. CONGRESS PROBABLY NOT ACTING
AS FAST AS MOST OF US WOULD LIKE, BUT THIS IS THE ROLE FOR
STATES. THIS IS WHY I THINK HAWAI’I’S VISIONARY LEAP HERE
IS SO CRITICAL. SHOWING THAT STATES CAN ACT.
AND OUR REAL DREAM IS COMING UP THIS DECEMBER IS A PIVOTAL
CLIMATE DEBATE OR NEGOTIATION IN PARIS AND OBAMA WILL BE
ATTENDING THAT. HE WON’T HAVE A LOT TO REPORT
FROM THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE INACTION IN CONGRESS,
BUT HE CAN POINT TO HIS HOME STATE OF HAWAI’I AND SAY,
DESPITE INACTION, STATES ARE ACTING AND MY HOME STATE HAS
SET THIS GOAL OF 100% RENEWABLE.
I THINK THAT WILL BE A GOOD MESSAGE FOR OUR PRESIDENT TO
CARRY TO THESE GLOBAL NEGOTIATIONS.
>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU THINK THAT CLIMATE CHANGE HAS ANY
IMPACT ON THIS GOAL?>>IMPACT IN ACHIEVING THE
GOAL?>>MAHEALANI: ACHIEVING THE
GOAL.>>IT MAY.
WE’RE SEEING MAYBE A SLACKENING OF TRADEWINDS
WHICH COULD AFFECT WIND. WE COULD EVEN SEE WEIRD THINGS
LIKE MORE MOISTURE IN THE ATMOSPHERE, WHICH COULD
IMPACT SOLAR RADIATION. I SEE IT THE OTHER WAY, THIS
GOAL IS TO CRITICAL TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS THAT
HAWAI’I FACE, SINCE THE DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACTS
THAT WE EXPERIENCE, WE OWE IT OURSELVES AND NATION TO TAKE
THE LEADERSHIP ROLE AND SHOW 100% LOOKS LIKE.
>>MAHEALANI: THEY WANT TO KNOW WAVE ENERGY OR
GEOTHERMAL. HOW VIABLE DO YOU THINK THOSE
SOURCES ARE IN HAWAI’I?>>GEOTHERMAL, WE HAVE IN BIG
ISLAND. THEY ARE USING GEOTHERMAL AS
PART OF THE GRID OPERATION. ACTUALLY, SO THE TECHNOLOGY
IS MATURE. IS ACTUALLY VERY MATURE.
THEY CAN, IF THEY PLAN FOR IT, THEY CAN BUILD IT.
WAVE ENERGY, I WORK IN WAVE ENERGY AS WELL, SO THERE ARE
THOUSAND OF IDEAS THERE. A THOUSAND OF DEVICES THERE.
BUT IT’S VERY CHALLENGING TECHNOLOGY.
VERY INTERESTING TO WORK WITH.
VERY, VERY CHALLENGING. SO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
RECENTLY PUT GRANTS FOR NEW CONCEPTS OF ENERGY WORKING ON
ADVANCING CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES, REDUCING THE
COST. WE HAVE TEST CENTERS IN
HAWAI’I. SO IT’S GOING THERE.
IT’S ACTUALLY, I THINK IT’S 20 YEARS, WE WOULD SEE WAVE
ENERGY AS PART OF THE GRID.>>MAHEALANI: HOW DOES THE
NEXTERA. HEI IMPACT THIS IN TERMS OF
GOAL.>>NEXTERA HAS BEEN
SUPPORTIVE OF THE 100% RPS. AS WE’VE HAD SOME DISCUSSIONS
ALONG THE WAY DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION, I THINK
IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THEY SAW HOW WE DIFFER HERE IN
HAWAI’I FROM OTHER STATES. SO THE GOAL OF REACHING 100%
WAS VERY, VERY CRITICAL. I THINK FOR JUST CONSIDERING
THE LONG REACH POLICY. IF ANYTHING, USUALLY, IT DOES
COME DOWN TO THE QUESTIONS OF HOW QUICKLY CAN WE GET THERE,
AND MANAGING THE COST, MANAGING THE IMPACT ON THE
GRID. SO THEY’RE AN ENERGY COMPANY
LIKE WE ARE. THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
IT’S ACHIEVABLE AND ULTIMATELY THAT, WE BENEFIT
THE CUSTOMER.>>MAHEALANI: CRITICS ARE
SAYING THAT NEXTERA HAS A RECORD OF OPPOSING ROOFTOP
SOLAR IN FLORIDA. WHAT WOULD THAT MEAN FOR FOLKS
HERE IN HAWAI’I?>>WELL, I DON’T THINK THAT
THERE IS ANY QUESTION THAT WE WILL HAVE CONTINUED GROWTH IN
OUR ROOFTOP SOLAR HERE IN HAWAI’I.
I THINK IT’S A VERY DIFFERENT CONTEXT IN FLORIDA.
THEIR ELECTRICITY PRICES ARE VERY, VERY LOW.
MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE WAY THAT THE NEXTERA FOLKS
VIEW SOLAR IS IT SHOULD BE COST-EFFECTIVE.
IT SHOULD BE THE BEST PRODUCT FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS.
AND ALSO, OBVIOUSLY, BEING RENEWABLE.
HERE IN HAWAII, WE HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCE.
WE DON’T HAVE VAST OPEN LAND WHERE WE CAN BUILD LOTS OF
LARGE SCALE. WE DO WANT TO ADD TO OUR
PORTFOLIO BY PUTTING IN TYPES OF RENEWABLES THAT WILL LOWER
COSTS MORE EFFECTIVELY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE
UNDERSTAND THAT OUR CUSTOMERS WANT ROOFTOP SOLAR.
SO THE CHALLENGE IS HOW CAN WE MAXIMIZE THAT AS PART OF OUR
PORTFOLIO. HOW DO WE MAXIMIZE OTHER TYPES
OF RENEWABLES AS WELL BECAUSE WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE
100% WITH ONLY ROOFTOP SOLAR.>>MAHEALANI: MR. MIKULINA,
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE
MERGER AND DO YOU THINK IT WILL IMPACT THIS GOAL FOR
2045?>>WELL, FOR THAT SECOND
QUESTION, I MEAN, THIS IS WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO ENACT
POLICIES LIKE THIS. TO REALLY SET THE STATE’S
PREROGATIVE, SET’S DIRECTION OF WHERE WE WANT TO BE SO WE
CAN ALIGN PLANNING DECISIONS TODAY WITH THE SYSTEM WE WANT
TOMORROW. REGARDLESS OF WHO OWNS THE
UTILITY OR WHAT THAT STRUCTURE LOOKINGS LIKE, THIS
LAW WILL BE IN PLACE AND WHOEVER IT IS HAS TO ACHIEVE
IT. SO IMPORTANT THIS BILL BE
ENACTED, NEXT WEEK, PRIOR TO ANY TAKEOVER OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT. HONESTLY, WHEN WE FIRST HEARD
OF THE NEXTERA INTEREST, WE WERE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC.
WE SAW NEXTERA HAS BRINGING A LOT OF RESOURCES, EXPERTISE,
POTENTIALLY ABILITY TO BORROW MONEY AT A MUCH LOWER RATE SO
THEY CAN INVEST IN THE GRID TO BUILD THIS NEW SYSTEM.
WE’RE REMAINING OPEN AND I THINK LIKE MANY OF THE OTHER
INTERVENERS, ASKING TOUGH QUESTIONS AND MAKING SURE
THAT THIS IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE STATE AND THE
GOALS THAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE GOING FORWARD.
>>MAHEALANI: REPRESENTATIVE, DO YOU THINK THAT IS IN THE
BEST INTEREST OF THE STATE? HEI AND NEXTERA MERGER.
>>THERE’S BEEN, I THINK, VERY LITTLE INFORMATION SO FAR
THAT’S COME OUT. I THINK NEXTERA HAS COMMITTED
TO FOLLOWING THE GOALS THAT HECO HAS BEEN PUSHING FOR AND
WE SAW THE CHART. RIGHT NOW, THAT’S 67% BY 2030.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WHICH IS GREAT.
THERE’S A LOT OF CAUTION. I DON’T WANT TO SAY THAT IT’S
GOING TO BE BAD BY ANY MEANS, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
THE PUC DOES ITS DUE DILIGENCE TO LOOK AT THE DEAL AND VET
WHETHER OR NOT IT’S IN THE INTEREST OF LOCAL CONSUMERS
AND LOCAL RATE PAYORS. WHETHER IT’S HECO OR NEXTERA,
I THINK IN THIS CASE, IS REALLY IRRELEVANT BECAUSE THE
CHALLENGE ISN’T GOING TO BE WHO’S MANAGING THE GRID
PRIMARILY. THE CHALLENGE IS GOING TO BE
NO MATTER WHO IT IS, HOW DO THEY TACKLE THE BIGGEST
MARKET DRIVEN CHANGE IN THE HISTORY OF THE ENERGY
INDUSTRY, WHICH IS THE ADVENT OF ROOFTOP SOLAR AND OTHER
FORMS OF DISTRIBUTED TECHNOLOGY THAT ARE
DISRUPTERS TO THE CONVENTIONAL NORM.
IF YOU HAVE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE COMING OUT AND PUTTING
THEIR OWN BATTERIES AND PV SYSTEMS ON THEIR ROOFS, HOW
DOES A COMPANY THAT PREVIOUSLY MANAGES THE GRID
AND PROVIDES POWER TO EVERYBODY DEAL WITH THAT
BECAUSE THEY’RE LOSING THAT CUSTOMER IN SOME RESPECT.
YOU HAVE STUDIES NOW IN MANY STATES SHOWING THAT NEXT
YEAR, IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS, IN OTHER PLACES, IT’S GOING TO
BE AS CHEAP TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT AS IT WOULD BE TO
JUST STAY ON THE GRID. THAT’S THE REAL CHALLENGE.
TECHNICAL CHALLENGE, FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS
CHALLENGE, AND IT’S ULTIMATELY A SOCIAL CHALLENGE
THAT HAS TO BE OVERCOME COLLECTIVELY.
>>MAHEALANI: PROFESSOR CAN YOU WEIGH IN ON THAT? YOU
WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING. I THINK STAYING OFF — OR
CONNECTED TO GRID IS VERY INTERESTING TOPIC.
ALSO, THE AMOUNT OF SOLAR PV THAT YOU CAN PUT ON YOUR
ACTUALLY ROOF, SATURATION OF THE GRID NETWORK IS ALSO IS A
GOOD TOPIC THAT CAN BE REALLY STUDIED AND FRANKLY, YOU CAN
PUT ON THE TABLE, THIS IS THE RESULTS AND EVERYBODY KNOWS,
OKAY, THESE ARE THE LIMITS BECAUSE OF THE LINE, BECAUSE
OF HOW WE ACTUALLY TRADITIONALLY PUT OUR
DISTRIBUTION GRADE IN PLACE. THE SIZE OF LINES AND
EVERYTHING, BECAUSE THEY WERE DESIGNED THAT THEIR LOAD GOES
FROM GENERATION TO THE LOAD, NOT FROM THE LOAD TO THE
DIFFERENT PART OF THE GRID. I THINK THAT THE NEXT
CHALLENGE IS HOW WE MANAGE THE GRID AND HOW AS A CUSTOMER,
YOU ARE STILL BE CONNECTED TO THE GRID AND BE PART OF THE
SOLUTION. BECAUSE IF YOU’RE GOING OFF
GRID COMPLETELY, THERE IS A RISK FOR YOU TO LOSE YOUR
POWER, COUPLE OF DAYS A YEAR. IF YOU’RE STILL CONNECTED TO
THE GRID, YOU CAN TAKE BENEFIT OF EVERYBODY ELSE’S WHO IS
GENERATING, WHO IS MANAGING THEIR LOAD OPTIMALLY, WHO IS
MORE REACTIVE, WHO IS MORE FLEXIBLE.
THE UTILITY WILL BECOME MICROGRID OPERATOR BASICALLY
IN THE FUTURE. LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE ROOFTOP
PV. LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE STORAGE.
LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE, WILL HAVE DISTRIBUTED GENERATION.
SO UTILITIES CHARGE PEOPLE NOT TO BURN FUEL, BUT TO
PRODUCE RENEWABLE THEMSELVES AND MANAGE YOUR GRIDS.
I THINK THE FUTURE WILL BE MORE BASED ON THE DATA,
INTELLIGENCE, COGNITIVE OF THE GRID, HOW YOU PREDICT
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IN IN THE NEXT SECOND, NEXT 10
MINUTES, NEXT 30 HOURS AND BE PREPARED FOR IT.
>>MAHEALANI: BLACKOUTS, YOU JUST MENTIONED THAT.
IS THAT A POSSIBILITY AS WE MOVE FORWARD?
>>DEFINITELY. BLACKOUTS IS ALWAYS A
POSSIBILITY. YOU CANNOT IGNORE IT.
IT SOMETHING MIGHT HAPPEN TO THE GRID AND YOU LOSE PART OF
THE GRID. HOW YOU HEAL THE GRID IS
IMPORTANT. IF THE GRID BECOMES SMARTER,
MORE DATA, MORE EXPERIENCE, IF YOU HAVE MORE ANALYTICS, IF
YOU ALREADY, LET’S SAY RIGHT NOW, HAVE YOU TO BE READY OF
100 DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCENARIOS.
IF ANY OF THEM HAPPENS, YOU KNOW THE SOLUTION.
THEN THE GRID HEALS ITSELF. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT
UTILITY WILL TAKE CARE OF. THEY HAVE RESOURCES.
THEY HAVE THE FUNDING IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND IT, STUDY, TO
TAKE CARE OF IT. NOT INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMERS.
>>MAHEALANI: DANIEL KAYE HAS — GO AHEAD.
>>IF YOU COULD ADD A LITTLE BIT.
ONE THING I’M ALWAYS VERY COGNIZANT THAT YOU GET FOUR OF
US TOGETHER AND WE’LL IMMEDIATELY START TALKING
ABOUT THE GRID AND DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGIES.
WE ALWAYS HAVE TO REMIND OURSELVES THAT FOR A LOT OF
FOLKS WHO ARE JUST LISTENING IN, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE
GRID AND MANAGING THE GRID, FUNDAMENTALLY, WHAT WE’RE
TALKING ABOUT IS THAT WE HAVE A REAL LIFE, LIVING,
BREATHING ANIMAL IN THIS ELECTRIC SYSTEM.
SO WHEN YOU TURN ON YOUR LIGHT SWITCH AT YOUR HOME, YOU’RE
ACTUALLY CAUSING A VERY, VERY SMALL CHANGE TO WHAT’S
HAPPENING ON THE GRID. SO THAT MEANS THAT SOMEWHERE
ELSE ON THE GRID, THERE HAS TO BE A SLIGHT INCREASE IN HOW
MUCH POWER IS BEING PRODUCED. YOU HAVE TO KEEP EVERYTHING IN
THAT VERY, VERY DELICATE, VERY PERFECT BALANCE AT ALL
TIMES ACROSS THE ENTIRE ISLAND.
THAT’S REALLY THE CONTEXT THAT WE’RE ALL TALKING ABOUT
AS WE’RE ADDING THESE DIFFERENT TYPES OF
RENEWABLES. BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES, PEOPLE
WILL ASK ME, WHAT DOES IT MATTER WHEN I PUT A PV SYSTEM
ON MY HOME? I MEAN, IT’S SO SMALL.
BUT COLLECTIVELY, IT CAN ADD UP.
IN FACT, WE HAVE WHAT, I THINK GREATER THAN 200 PLUS
MEGAWATTS OF SOLAR ON THIS ISLAND.
AND YOU KNOW, IF SOMETHING HAPPENS ON THE GRID LIKE WE
LOSE A POWER PLANT SHUTS OFF ALL OF A SUDDEN, IT CAN CREATE
SUCH A SHOCK TO THE GRID THAT THE PV SYSTEMS THEMSELVES
WILL WANT TO SHUT OFF TO PROTECT THEM THEMSELVES.
AND IN THAT CASE, NOW YOU REALLY HAVE IMBALANCE IN
WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE GRID.>>MAHEALANI: DANIEL KAYE,
THERE’S OBVIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS FOR
REDUCING OUR DEPENDENCY ON OIL, BASED ON *ELECTRIC TI
GENERATION. AT WHAT POINT ARE RATE PAYORS
GOING TO SEE A DEDUCTION IN UTILITY RATES? YOUR
THOUGHTS?>>IF WE GET THE RIGHT TYPES
OF RENEWABLES, RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL
PRODUCE ELECTRICITY LOWER THAN WHAT IT TAKE US TO
PRODUCE IF WITH OIL, THAT WHERE YOU SEE THE BENEFITS.
ALSO, I THINK, REPRESENTATIVE LEE MENTIONED FROM A SOCIAL
PERSPECTIVE, WE ALSO HAVE TO DESIGN OUR DIFFERENT PROGRAMS
SO THAT AS MANY CUSTOMERS CAN RECEIVE THAT BENEFIT AS
POSSIBLE. WE HAVE A CERTAIN SYSTEM SET
UP RIGHT NOW WHERE MY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO HAVE
ROOFTOP SOLAR GET A GREAT DEAL AND FRANKLY, WHEN THEY’VE
ASKED ME IN THE PAST, SHOULD I SIGN UP FOR THAT, I SAY SIGN
UP. IT’S A GREAT DEAL.
BUT WE HAVE OTHER CUSTOMERS WHO JUST DO NOT HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO PUT PV ON THEIR HOMES OR APARTMENT BUILDINGS.
SO AS WE GO FORWARD, I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THE CHALLENGES
THAT WE’RE ALL GOING HAVE TO FIGURE OUT, HOW DO WE DESIGN
THIS 100% RENEWABLE SYSTEM SO THAT WE CAN GET LOWER COST FOR
ALL CUSTOMERS.>>TONIGHT, WE’RE TALKING
ABOUT THE STATE’S PLAN TO USE ONLY RENEWABLE ENERGY BY
2045. PLEASE CALL, E-MAIL OR TWEET
YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. CALL 973-1000 IF YOU LIVE ON
OAHU. AND 800-238-4847 IF YOU’RE ON
A NEIGHBOR ISLAND. MR. MIKULINA, AS WE GO
FORWARD IN THE NEXT FIVE, 10 YEARS, WHAT DO YOU THINK THESE
RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANTS WILL LOOK LIKE IN OUR LANDSCAPE?
>>THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION. BECAUSE IF WE ASK THAT
QUESTION 10 YEARS AGO, I DON’T THINK ANYONE ENVISIONED WHERE
WE ARE TODAY. LIKE IF WE GO BACK 30 YEARS,
THINK OF 1985, GOING TO TALK ABOUT MOBILE PHONES, PEOPLE
WOULD SAY, WE’RE GOING TO WALK DOWN THE STREET AND TWEET.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? VERY DIFFICULT.
NO ONE HAS A CRYSTAL BALL. TO PUT SOME CONCRETE TO THAT,
BACK IN 19, LET’S SAY, 2006 OR SO, UTILITY WAS GOING THROUGH
SOME PLANNING. THIS ISN’T A KNOCK ON THE
UTILITY. THIS IS A KNOCK ON HOW
DIFFICULT IT IS TO PREDICT THE FUTURE.
UTILITY GUEST, BY 2014, WE SHOULD HAVE ABOUT 126 ROOFTOP
SOLAR UNITS ON OAHU. THIS IS ABOUT 2006.
IN 2014, WE ACTUALLY HAD 40,000 SYSTEMS.
SO IT’S VERY, VERY DIFFICULT TO GUESS.
TODAY, WE’RE GUESSING ABOUT STORAGE.
WHAT STORAGE GOING TO LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE? WE’VE
HEARD SOME STUFF FROM TESSLA COOL COMPANIES DOING THINGS.
WE COULD BE WAY OFF AND STORAGE COULD BE HERE IN FIVE
OR SIX YEARS AND ALSO, ENTIRE LANDSCAPE CHANGES AGAIN.
SO VERY DIFFICULT TO PREDICT. WE’RE BULLISH ON SOLAR.
SIMPLY BECAUSE IT’S ONE OF THOSE QUIET SCALER,
INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES, THAT HAS NO MOVING PARTS THAT
HAS BE BACKED UP BY SOMETHING, CLOUDY DAYS AND NIGHT.
BUT WHO KNOWS WE COULD SEE A BREAK THROUGH WITH OTEC,
SOMETHING WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR DECADES AND
DECADES. THIS IS THE OCEAN THERMAL
ENERGY CONVERSION. THE FIRST GRID TIDE PLANT IS
GOING TO GO ON LINE OVER ON THE BIG ISLAND END OF AUGUST.
THAT WILL BE EXCITING TO WATCH.
WE TALK ABOUT OFFSHORE WIND IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS.
WE COULD SEE SOMETHING THERE AS WELL.
SO UNCLEAR. BUT ONE POINT ON WHAT SCOTT
WAS, MR. SEU WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT.
>>SCOTT IS FINE.>>ALL OF US MOVING TOGETHER.
THIS IS A REALLY KEY ELEMENT. AS WE PROGRESS TO 100%, CAN WE
MAKE SURE WE’RE ALL MOVING TOGETHER AND NOT JUST THOSE
WHO CAN DO SOLAR. ANOTHER BILL THAT’S BEING
SIGNED ON MONDAY, WHICH THINK IS REALLY PART AND PARCEL TO
THIS, POLICY TO HELP ENABLE 100%, COMMUNITY RENEWABLES OR
COMMUNITY SOLAR. CONCEPT IS SIMPLE.
HIGHRISE, RENTER, DON’T HAVE A ROOF, CAN YOU PARTICIPATE IN
SOLAR RENEWABLE ENERGY BY BUYING A SHARE OR PARCEL
SOMEWHERE ELSE. WE SEE THE SOLUTION TO HAVE
AND HAVE NOT SOLAR, NOT LESS, BUT MORE SOLAR.
DIFFERENT STRUCTURES LIKE THIS.
THIS BILL IS INTRODUCED BY SENATOR GABBARD.
REP LEE WAS A STRONG PROPONENT.
THAT’S GOING TO CHANGE HOW WE MOVE TOGETHER TOWARDS 100%
RENEWABLE.>>MAHEALANI: YOU KNOW, YOU
JUST HEARD ABOUT MR. MIKULINA TALKING ABOUT THE HAVE AND
HAVE NOTS OF SOLAR. EDWINA FROM WAHIAWA ASKS, IF
I DON’T INSTALL SOLAR NOW, IS IT GOING TO GET CHEAP IN THE
FUTURE?>>OH, YES.
IT WILL BE CHEAPER. THE PROJECTION, I MEAN, IF YOU
COMPARE TODAY’S PRICE TO 2 YEARS, MUCH CHEAPER.
FUTURE IT WILL BE CHEAPER. LOTS OF MANUFACTURERS AND
LOTS OF DEMAND EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
>>DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A ENGINEER AND SALESPERSON.
BUY NOW.>>BUY NOW.
YES. BUT IF YOU WAIT, YOU LOSE AS
WELL.>>MAHEALANI: YOU’RE NOT
SELLING IT, RIGHT?>>I’M NOT SELLING IT.
I’M NOT SELLING IT. BUT BECAUSE THE PAY, IF YOU
PAY NOW, THE PAY BACK IS FOUR YEARS.
IT DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF INCENTIVE YOU GET.
EVEN WITHOUT INCENTIVES. IF P YOU BUY IT LATER, THE
TECHNOLOGY BECOMES CHEAPER, YES, BUT YOU HAVE TO PAY
UTILITY BILL LONGER. SO THE OTHER THING TOO, BUY
NOW FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. THE MOST PRESSING IS THAT
FEDERAL TAX CREDITS POTENTIALLY COULD EXPIRE
WITHIN A YEAR. AND SO IF YOU’RE GET IN ON THAT
NOW, YOU CAN SAVE MORE MONEY RIGHT UP FRONT.
>>MAHEALANI: SHAWNA FROM KAHALA HAS A INTERESTING
QUESTION. SORT OF DEALS WITH US AS THE
CONSUMER INSTEAD JUST GOVERNMENT OR JUST THE
USE-UTILITY. HOW CAN WE GET ARCHITECTS TO
STOP DESIGNING HUGE HOMES WITH CENTRAL AIR
CONDITIONING.>>MAHEALANI: CAN WE LEGISLATE
THIS.>>I DON’T THINK WE CAN TELL
PEOPLE HOW TO DESIGN THEIR HOMES PER SE.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION. PUTTING PV ON A ROOF AND
GENERATING YOUR OWN POWER ISN’T THE ONLY THING, NOT EVEN
THE BIGGEST IMPACT YOU CAN HAVE ON YOUR ELECTRIC BILL.
EFFICIENCY. NOT HAVING 10 REFRIGERATORS
TO POWER IS THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT’S GOING TO HELP
REDUCE YOUR LOAD AND REDUCE YOUR COST.
INTERESTINGLY, FROM THE GOVERNMENT’S PERSPECTIVE,
THERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN DO WITH RESPECT TO THAT.
THAT’S FOR ALL OF OUR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE.
WHICH WE HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR.
FROM OUR ROADS, STREETLIGHTS, TO OUR SCHOOLS, TO UNIVERSITY
OF HAWAI’I. MAKING SURE THAT WE ARE BEING
EFFICIENT THERE. GENERATING AS MUCH POWER AS WE
CAN TO REDUCE OUR ELECTRIC BILL.
JUST BRIEFLY, WE PASSED ANOTHER BILL THIS YEAR.
ALSO I BEING SIGNED ON MONDAY. WHICH IS ALSO FIRST IN THE
NATION. WHICH MAKES UNIVERSITY OF
HAWAI’I THE FIRST UNIVERSITY SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY TO BE
100% RENEWABLE, GENERATING AS MUCH POWER AS IT CONSUMES, BY
2035. AND THAT’S $40 MILLION A YEAR
RIGHT NOW. THAT THE UNIVERSITY PAYS FOR
ELECTRICITY. SCOTT, CLOSE YOUR EARS.
PROFITS FOR THE ELECTRIC COMPANY THAT ARE GOING AWAY.
BUT IF THEY CAN DO THIS AND WE ABSOLUTELY THINK THEY CAN,
THAT’S $40 MILLION A YEAR THAT THE UNIVERSITY DOESN’T
HAVE TO PAY FOR ELECTRICITY ANY MORE.
AND THAT MEANS $40 MILLION LESS TUITION BECAUSE STUDENTS
COVER THAT ELECTRIC BILL RIGHT NOW IN THEIR TUITION,
THAT HAS TO BE PAID. PART OF THAT IS GENERATING
POWER, PART OF IT IS BEING MORE EFFICIENT AND REDUCING
THE AMOUNT OF REFRIGERATORS AND LIGHTBULBS AND EVERYTHING
ELSE THAT ARE ON THE CAMPUS.>>MAHEALANI: YOU KNOW, THAT
ACTUALLY BRINGS UP A GOOD POINT.
SO WHEN HECO EXECUTIVES LOOK AT THIS, OBVIOUSLY, EVERYONE
IS ON BOARD IN TERMS IT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY, BUT WHAT
ABOUT PROFITS? HOW DOES THE COMPANY STAY VIABLE?
>>WELL, THIS IS ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF
INFORMATION THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T ACTUALLY
APPRECIATE. WHICH IS WE NO LONGER GET
PROFITS BY HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY WE SELL.
NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, WE WENT THROUGH WITH THE PUC CALLED
DECOUPLING. THE TRADITIONAL WAY THAT
ELECTRIC COMPANY USED TO MAKE PROFITS WOULD BE, HEY, SELL AS
MUCH ELECTRICITY AS YOU CAN AND THEREFORE, IT WAS A
DISINCENTIVE FOR ALLOWING PEOPLE TO PRODUCE THEIR OWN
ENERGY. WELL, HERE IN HAWAI’I, WE’RE
NOT LIKE THAT ANY MORE. SO WHEN A CUSTOMER LIKE THE
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI’I WANTS TO FIGURE OUT HOW CAN THEY
BECOME MORE EFFICIENT, HOW CAN THEY LOWER THEIR BILL, WE
ARE ACTUALLY RIGHT THERE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW CAN
WE HELP THEM. THEY ARE VERY, VERY LARGE
CUSTOMER OF OURS. THEY HAVE SUCH A CONTRIBUTION
TO OUR STATE AND TO OUR ECONOMY.
WE HAVE VERY, VERY CLOSE CONNECTIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY
IN A NUMBER OF WAYS. SO THAT’S A PERFECT EXAMPLE
WHERE IF WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO SAVE THEM MONEY, AND HAVE
THOSE FUNDS GO MORE INTO LIKE THE RESEARCH, ENGINEERING
SCHOOLS, DEVELOP TECHNOLOGY, THEN THAT’S THE PLUS.
>>MAHEALANI: WHO PAYS FOR THESE RENEWABLE ALTERNATIVE
ENERGY CHOICES THAT WE HAVE? HOW DO THEY GET THE FUNDING?
>>YOU’RE LOOKING AT ME. WE ALL DO.
FRANKLY, WE’RE ALL SPENDING ALL OF THE LOT TODAY.
IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE SPENT ON IMPORTING FOSSIL FUEL IN
THE STATE, $43 BILLION. THAT ALL CAME FROM OUR
POCKETS. SHIFT IT TO CHOICES, WIND,
GEOTHERMAL, SOLAR, CIRCULATED IN THE ECONOMY.
DEPENDS ON THE STRUCTURE, YOU INVEST, IF YOU HAVE SOLAR AT
HOME, PUT YOUR OWN CAPITAL INTO THAT.
PAY IT OVER TIME. LARGELY, IT FALLS ON THE
CUSTOMERS. I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE’RE
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. WHO PAYS, CAN WE AFFORD IT?
WHAT WILL RATES LOOK LIKE? WE’VE DONE SOME SURVEY WORK.
GOING TO RESULTS IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.
ASKING HUNDREDS OF HOUSEHOLDS ACROSS HAWAI’I, WHAT’S MOST
IMPORTANT TO YOU? IS REALLY PRICE THE ONLY THING THAT
MATTERS WHEN IT COMES TO ENERGY? AND WE’RE PRETTY
SURPRISED THAT ONLY 6% OF RESPONDENTS SAID THAT PRICE
WAS THE ONLY THING. WHEN YOU ADDED THINGS LIKE
ENVIRONMENT, OR HEALTH, OR LOCAL JOBS, THOSE THINGS,
THEY THOUGHT SHOULD BE BALANCED WITH PRICE.
SO WE DO, RATES ARE HIGH. IT HURTS EVERYONE.
PARTICULARLY FOLKS WHO CAN LEAST AFFORD IT, WE WANT TO
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE AND THINK ABOUT HOW OUR CHOICES
EFFECT OUR CLIMATE AND THE CLIMATE THAT THE NEXT
GENERATION WILL BE INHERITING.
>>I’LL ADD TO THAT. JUST SO YOU KNOW, THINK IT’S
FORTUNATE IN THIS CASE BECAUSE ALL OF THE THINGS THAT
JEFF TALKED ABOUT, JOBS, LOCAL ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT
AND PROTECTING THAT AND EVERYTHING ELSE, HAPPENS TO
DOVETAIL WITH PRICE RIGHT NOW.
BECAUSE THE QUICKER WE REDUCE OUR COST, BY REDUCING OUR
DEPENDENCE ON FOSSIL FUEL, QUICKER WE SAVE THAT.
ALLOWED SO MANY PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER BEHIND THIS AND SAY
THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR ALL THE REASONS ABOVE.
TO ADD INTO WHAT JEFF WAS SAYING, PRICE THAT WE PAY TO
IMPORT FOSSIL FUELS ISN’T THE ONLY COST THAT AVERAGE PERSON
YOU AND ME AND EVERYBODY ELSE WHO PAYS TAXES HERE, PAYS FOR.
NUMBER OF STUDIES SHOWN YOUR AVERAGE FOSSIL FUEL PLANT,
ALL OF THEM COLLECTIVELY ACROSS THE NATION, ADD
SOMETHING ON THE MAGNITUDE OF BETWEEN 330 AND $900 BILLION
IN COSTS THAT THEY PASS ON BY ADDING TO CLIMATE DAMAGES, BY
ADDING TO NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS.
RIGHT HERE IN HAWAI’I, WE’RE ALREADY PAYING THOSE COSTS IN
A LOT OF WAYS. WE’RE SPENDING, STATE AND
COUNTY LEVEL, BEING FORCED TO SPEND MONEY TO THE TUNE OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, SOMETIMES TENS OF MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS A YEAR PROTECTING ERODING BEACHES LIKE WAIKIKI.
IF WE WERE TO LOSE THAT, ESTIMATED TO BE A $2 BILLION
LOSS TO OUR ECONOMY. WE’RE BEING FORCED TO MAKE
THESE EXPENDITURES TO SAY NOTHING OF FRESH WATER
SUPPLIES THAT WE’RE NOW PROTECTING, DEALING WITH
INVASIVE SPECIES THAT ARE GETTING TRACTION BECAUSE IT’S
WARMER OUT, OUR OCEAN WHICH IS ACIDIFYING, TAXPAYERS PAY
FOR. REDUCE WHAT WE’RE GOING TO
HAVE TO PAY FOR BY STOPPING EMISSIONS FROM FROST-FOSSIL
FUELS, THAT’S A WIN FOR EVERYBODY.
>>IT DOESN’T MEAN HIGHER ELECTRICITY BILL.
IT WILL MEAN LOWER ELECTRICITY BILL.
ELECTRICITY BILL IN THE FUTURE WON’T BE FLAT PRICE.
IT WILL BE DYNAMIC REAL TIME PRICING YOU ADAPT YOURSELF.
YOU HAVE LOTS OF PV, YOU SET YOUR WATER HEATER THAT YOU
ACTUALLY USE IT MORE, YOU SET YOUR AIR CONDITIONINGS, THAT
YOU USE IT MORE, AND AT THE PEAK LOAD, EVERYBODY’S LIGHT
IS ON, YOU USE IT LESS. AND SO WHEN YOU HAVE MORE
RENEWABLES, YOU USE MORE. WHEN YOU HAVE LESS, YOU USE
LESS. DYNAMIC PRICING THAT THE
AVERAGE, IN THE LONG TERM, LOOK AT THE AVERAGE, AVERAGE
BILL THAT YOU PAY LONG TERM IS MUCH LOWER THAN THE CURRENT
AMOUNT THAT YOU ARE GOING TO PAY.
>>MAHEALANI: WE’RE GETTING SEVERAL QUESTIONS.
PEOPLE WHO JUST STILL SHAKING THEIR HEADS AND THEY DON’T
THINK IT’S POSSIBLE OF THE I WANTED TO ASK YOU, MR. SEU,
FRED IN KAHALUU SAYS, HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY BE INDEPENDENT OF
FOSSIL FUELS WHEN IT’S NEARLY EVERYTHING WE DEPEND ON?
RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES COMES TO HAWAI’I, VIA SHIPS, TRUCKS
AND PLANES THAT BURN OIL.>>MY PURVIEW IS TRYING TO
MAKE SURE THAT OUR ELECTRIC SYSTEM, WE CAN GET 100%
RENEWABLE. VERY GOOD POINT, RIGHT?
TRANSPORTATION IS THE OTHER BIG USE OF FOSSIL FUEL HERE IN
HAWAI’I. ALL OF OUR FOCUS OVER THESE
LAST SEVERAL YEARS HAS PRIMARILY BEEN ON THE
ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION SECTOR PRIMARILY BECAUSE WE
ARE THE ELECTRIC COMPANY. IT’S EASIER FOR US TO BE THE
ONES TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND OWNERSHIP TO ACHIEVE
THOSE GOALS. THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR
NOW, THAT’S ANOTHER DIFFERENT STORY.
EVERY ONE OF US WHO DRIVES A CAR ON THIS ISLAND, WE ALL
WANT TO HAVE OUR OWN CHOICES IN TERMS OF WHAT KIND OF CAR
WE BUY AND HOW WE USE IT. THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY HAS YET
TO HAVE A REALLY GOOD OPTION FOR AVIATION FUEL THAT WOULD
BE RENEWABLE. THERE ARE CHALLENGES IN THAT
SECTOR. YES, THERE ARE DEFINITE
CHALLENGES.>>I BELIEVE THAT AS A STATE,
AS WE ARE MAKING GOOD PROGRESS NOW ON THE ELECTRIC
GENERATION SIDE, NOW MORE OF THE SHIFT, MORE OF THE FOCUS
WILL START TO SHIFT TOWARDS WHAT CAN WE DO FOR
TRANSPORTATION. I THINK ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS
WHAT ACTUALLY BE A WONDERFUL ALTERNATIVE BECAUSE ALTHOUGH
IT WOULD INCREASE THE USE OF ELECTRICITY, IF WE ARE MAKING
THAT ELECTRICITY MORE RENEWABLE, THEN THAT’S A GOOD
THING AND WE’RE TAKING GASOLINE OFF THE ROADS.
>>MAHEALANI: MR. MIKULINA, CHARLES FROM THE BIG ISLAND
WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT THE STORAGE OF THIS ENERGY.
I MEAN, HOW DOES IT GET STORED MAYBE A DIFFERENT WAY THAN
WE’RE DOING NOW.>>COULD BE.
IN FACT, BIG ISLAND IS DOING SOME EXCITING EXPLORATIONS
AND SOMETHING CALLED PUMPED HYDROELECTRIC, HAVE A COUPLE
OF RESERVOIRS AS DIFFERENT ELEVATIONS.
WHEN YOU HAVE SURPLUS RENEWABLE ENERGY, MOVE THAT
WATER UPHILL ESSENTIALLY AND WHEN THAT RENEWABLE ENERGY
MAYBE DIES DOWN, CAN YOU LET THE WATER FLOW AND USE
CONVENTIONAL HYDROELECTRIC TO KIND OF FIRM THINGS UP.
BUT YOU KNOW, BATTERIES REALLY COMING ALONG.
ELON MUSK TESSLA LAST MAEDA A ANNOUNCEMENT RENEW
BATTERIES. IT’S SOMETHING YOU WANT TO PUT
IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. LOOKS GREAT.
STORES PROBABLY ABOUT HALF A DAY’S WORTH OF ELECTRICITY.
VERY LOW COST. SO I THINK WE’LL SEE MORE OF
THIS AND REALLY, AS PROFESSOR MENTIONED, PEOPLE HAVING THIS
IN THEIR HOMES AND AGGREGATING THESE RESOURCES
TOGETHER CAN PROVIDE MAYBE PLUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES,
PROVIDE STABLE SOURCE, SO WE CAN RIDE THROUGH 30 DAYS OF
RAIN AND OTHER CONTINGENCIES.>>JUST ADD TO THAT.
WHAT YOU’RE HEARING IS A COMMON THEME AS WE MOVE
TOWARDS THE FUTURE, WE ARE MORE AND MORE GOING TO BE
ASKING CUSTOMERS OR FIGURING OUT HOW CAN WE HAVE CUSTOMERS
PLAY A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN MANAGING THE GRID.
SO GREAT EXAMPLE THAT JEFF JUST MENTIONED, WHICH IS CAN
WE SEE STORAGE SYSTEMS THAT A CUSTOMER MIGHT PUT IN AND
ACTUALLY IT MIGHT HAVE SOME UNUSED STORAGE CAPACITY,
WHICH CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE GRID OPERATOR.
SO THAT WE CAN USE THAT CUSTOMER’S STORAGE, WITH SOME
APPROPRIATE COMPENSATION, TO HELP, AGAIN, MANAGE THE GRID.
AND WE’RE ACTUALLY WORKING ON A DEMONSTRATION PROJECT LIKE
THAT WITH A COMPANY CALLED STEM.
SO EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW DO WE GET THESE
DISTRIBUTED RESOURCES TO BE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE GRID.
THAT’S REALLY GOING TO BE THE ONLY WAY WE CAN FIGURE THIS
OUT.>>MAHEALANI: THAT’S A REALLY
INTERESTING POINT ABOUT THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY,
REPRESENTATIVE, WHERE DO YOU SEE THE PERSONAL
RESPONSIBILITY IN ALL OF US TO CONSERVE ENERGY, MOVE TOWARDS
THIS ENERGY GOAL?>>I THINK THE EASIEST THING
IS THAT IT’S CHEAPER TO DO THAT FOR EVERYBODY IN A PLACE
WHERE COST IS SUCH A BIG DEAL DAY IN AND DAY OUT BASIS.
IN IT’S LONG TERM, CLEARLY GOING TO BE COST-EFFECTIVE TO
PUT IN PV, PUT IN BATTERIES, TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO
THE GRID AND I THINK IN THE LONG TERM, WHAT A LOT OF
PEOPLE SEE IS THAT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A GRID THAT
ISN’T CENTRALIZED POWER PRODUCER THAT SELLS IT TO
EVERYBODY, BUT RATHER, IS AN INTERCONNECTION,
INTERCONNECTED WEB ALMOST LIKE AN INTERNET OF
CONNECTING EVERYBODY TOGETHER.
ALL THESE DIFFERENT HOMES, ALL THESE DIFFERENT
BUSINESSES, EACH PRODUCING THEIR OWN POWER, BEING ABLE TO
STORE IT AND CONTRIBUTING TO THE GREATER GOOD.
WHEN SOMEONE LET’S SAY THEIR PV IS DOWN OR WHAT HAVE YOU,
THEY CAN PULL POWER FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.
BEING CONNECTED TO THE GRID, WOULD ALMOST BE LIKE AN
INSURANCE POLICY, BEING ABLE TO DRAW POWER WHEN YOU NEED IT
IN TIMES OF NEED. THAT’S SOMETHING THAT IS
GOING TO BE COST-EFFECTIVE AND THAT’S WHERE I THINK A LOT
OF COMMUNITIES ARE GOING RIGHT NOW IN THEIR PLANNING.
>>MAHEALANI: DO YOU THINK THAT THE LET’S SAY THIS GRID
COULD BE CONNECTED INTERISLAND? PROFESSOR?
>>YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE COST AND THE PAY BACK OF IT AND ALL
OTHER ISSUES AROUND IT. YES, IT’S TECHNOLOGIES ARE
THERE A LONG TIME AGO TO PUT THE UNDERSEA HIGH VOLTAGE DC
IN THE OCEAN. IF YOU HAVE THE LAND TO PUT THE
POWER INVERTERS, AC, D.C. CONVERTERS, DC CONVERTERS,
DEFINITELY, YES.>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ABOUT THE
PEOPLE’S WILL? MR. SEU, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?
I THINK IT REALLY GETS BACK TO DOES IT MAKE SENSE? DO THE
BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE COST OF DOING THAT? IF I WERE JUST TO
THINK ABOUT IT FROM THE GRID OPERATOR’S PERSPECTIVE, WHAT
WOULD IT BE LIKE IF I HAD THE OAHU GRID CONNECTED TO THE
MAUI GRID SO THAT ACTUALLY, WE WERE ONE GRID TOGETHER.
POTENTIALLY, THERE COULD BE SOME BENEFIT IF I HAVE A
BROADER GRID AND I HAVE THE APPROPRIATE BACK-UPS.
I WOULD NOT WANT TO, ALL OF A SUDDEN, LOSE MY UNDERSEA
CABLE CONNECTION AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, BOTH GRIDS, SEE A
SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM. SO THERE’S A LOT OF THOSE
TYPES OF TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN WHAT WOULD
BE THE BENEFITS VERSUS THE COSTS.
AS FAR AS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, I KNOW THAT
THERE ARE THOSE WHO WOULD SAY, WELL, IF WE INTERCONNECT
THESE ISLANDS, NOW, THE FOLKS ON OAHU, ALTHOUGH CARE ABOUT
IS BUILDING BIG HOMES WITH BIG AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS,
THEY WANT SO SEE POWER GENERATED ON THE NEIGHBOR
ISLANDS SO WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT THAT? YOU DO GET
QUICKLY INTO THOSE TYPES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE QUESTIONS.
FROM THE TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE, YOU HAVE TO
ACTUALLY DO THE MATH AND DO THE ANALYSIS FIRST TO
ACTUALLY SEE IF IT MAKES ANY SENSE.
>>MAHEALANI: MR. MIKULINA, WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER AS THE
MOST EXCITING RENEWABLE ENERGY OUT THERE RIGHT NOW?
>>YOU KNOW, AGAIN, WITHOUT HAVING THAT CRYSTAL BALL.
>>DEFINE EXCITING. (LAUGHTER)
>>YOU KNOW, SOLAR AGAIN, THE GROWTH OF SOLAR HAS BEEN
SPECTACULAR. AND IT IS REALLY, I THINK,
PROVIDED A LOT OF LEVEL FOLKS WHO GET SOLAR FOR THEIR HOME,
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT DOING RIGHT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND
PROBABLY MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE, BUT I THINK THESE FOLKS
HAVE A DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIP WITH ENERGY AS THEY’RE
PRODUCING IT THEMSELVES ON THEIR OWN ROOFTOP.
WE CAN’T DISCOUNT THAT. THAT FEELING THAT PEOPLE HAVE
OF I’M KIND OF GOING AT MY OWN AND BEING INDEPENDENT AND
PRODUCING MY OWN POWER AND DOING THE RIGHT THING.
SO SOLAR IS REALLY EXCITING. I THINK ONE NOTE THERE IS, AS
SCOTT SAID, THERE IS GOING TO BE A MIX OF DISTRIBUTED AS
WELL AS CENTRALIZED. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PROJECTS
THAT ARE PENDING ON THIS ISLAND RIGHT NOW.
UP TO 250-MEGAWATTS CALLING WAIVER PROJECTS.
AND THEY’RE MOVING THROUGH THE PROCESS.
UNFORTUNATELY, THEY’VE HIT SOME SPEED BUMPS RIGHT NOW.
THESE ARE LARGE SOLAR FARMS OAHU THAT COULD PROVIDE A LOT
OF POWER, HELP US MOVE QUICKLY TOWARDS THE 100% GOAL.
WE ALL NEED TO BE ON BOARD AND MAKE SURE THAT PROJECTS LIKE
THESE MOVE FORWARD, PARTICULARLY THESE PROJECTS
THAT ARE RELATIVELY CHEAP. IN ORDER 14 CENTS, 15 CENTS
PER KILOWATT HOUR. THESE ARE GREAT PRICES.
WE LOCK IN THAT PRICE FOR 20 OR 22 IT YEARS.
WE’RE BULLISH ON SOLAR RIGHT NOW.
>>MAHEALANI: LARRY FROM MAKAHA WANTS TO KNOW, FROM
DR. GHORBANI, WILL WE HAVE BATTERIES CAPABLE TO STORE
ENOUGH ENERGY SO WE DON’T HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE GRID.
>>AT YOUR HOME LEVEL? YES, YOU CAN DO IT TOMORROW
MORNING. YOU HAVE LITHIUM ION
BATTERIES, IT DEPENDS HOW MUCH SPACE YOU HAVE.
SO YOU HAVE ENOUGH, THE TECHNOLOGY IS THERE.
IT’S YOUR WILL AND YOUR CHOICE ACTUALLY.
>>HOW MUCH SPACE AND HOW MUCH MONEY RIGHT NOW?
>>DEPENDS HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SPEND.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, FROM RESEARCHER THAT I DO, GRADE
STIMULATIONS, RENEWABLE ENERGY ARE INTERMITTENT.
NATURE IS RANDOM. THE LOAD IS MORE PREDICABLE,
BUT WE HAVE SOME RANDOMNESS IN THE LOAD AS WELL.
IF YOU AGGREGATE ALL OF THIS TOGETHER, ALL OF THIS, LET’S
SAY 1,000 CUSTOMERS IN ONE, THIS RANDOM IS ACTUALLY KIND
OF LESS AND LESS, AGGREGATE MORE LOADS AND DISTRIBUTE
GENERATION TO EACH OTHER. ONE CENTRAL ENERGY STORAGE AT
THE SUBSTATION MIGHT MAKE MORE SENSE RATHER THAN
EVERYBODY HAS ONE SMALL ENERGY STORAGE AT THEIR HOME.
IT MIGHT — IT DEPENDS OF THE TECHNOLOGY.
DEPENDS HOW THE GRID WILL BE OPERATED THE FUTURE, HOW WE
DEAL WITH THIS INTERMITTENCY. IT MUST BE STUDIED.
>>MAHEALANI: ONE QUESTION THAT PEOPLE ALWAYS HAVE IS
JOBS. REPRESENTATIVE, WITH THIS
2045 GOAL, WILL THIS MEAN A REDUCTION IN JOBS IN THE
STATE?>>I DON’T THINK SO.
I MEAN, HARD TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
30 YEARS FROM NOW. WE CAN’T LOOK AT WHAT’S
HAPPENED IN THE LAST 10 YEARS. WE’VE HAD OUR GOALS FOR BEING
MORE RENEWABLE ON THE BOOKS FOR ABOUT THAT TIME NOW AND
WE’VE SEEN THOUSANDS OF NEW JOBS, MOSTLY IN SOLAR
COMPANIES, YOU’VE SEEN GOING OUT.
A LOT OF CONSTRUCTION JOBS. IN FACT, JUST A COUPLE OF
YEARS AGO, 2013 OR 2014 OR SOMETHING, A QUARTER OF ALL
THE BUILDING PERMITS IN HONOLULU WERE FROM SOLAR AND
RENEWABLE ENERGY RELATED JOBS.
SO THERE’S A LOT OF POTENTIAL. WHO KNOWS WHAT’S NEXT? MAYBE
IT’S HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS OR SOMETHING ELSE.
YOU COULD HAVE A WHOLE GROWTH OF BRAND NEW INDUSTRY OUT OF
NOWHERE.>>MAHEALANI: HOW DO YOU SEE
THE JOBS PROJECTION IF YOU COULD SEE, HAVE A CRYSTAL BALL
IN FRONT OF YOU?>>IF I HAD THAT, THAT WOULD
BE SOMETHING. BUT THE WAY I SEE THE JOBS IS
IT’S GOING TO LEAD TO A DIFFERENT TYPE OF RENEWABLE
ENERGY INDUSTRY JOB. WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY HERE
TO REALLY, REALLY DEVELOP THE TECHNOLOGY THAT THE REST OF
THE WORLD IS GOING TO USE. I DON’T THINK ANY OF US WHO ARE
HERE IN HAWAI’I WANT TO CONTINUE TO BE JUST BUYING
THIS TECHNOLOGY FROM OFFSHORE AND BRINGING IT INTO HERE.
THAT’S NOT THE LONG TERM GOAL THAT WE SHOULD HAVE.
HAWAI’I SHOULD BE THE CENTER OF THE DEVELOPMENT.
WE WANT TO SEE THE INDUSTRY. WE WANT TO SEE OUR KIDS, I WANT
TO SEE MY DAUGHTERS LAUREN AND JAMIE RUNNING THESE RENEWABLE
TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AND THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF JOBS
THAT I SEE IN 2045. MY JOB, GRID OPERATOR, YEAH,
YOU PROBABLY WILL SEE A GRID OPERATOR.
IT WON’T BE EITHER OF MY DAUGHTERS.
BUT YEAH, I SEE THAT THAT IS THE POTENTIAL.
>>MAHEALANI: YOUR THOUGHTS PROFESSOR?
>>YES, I THINK IT’S INTELLECTUAL, SECURING MORE
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE FIELD, INNOVATION, PUTTING
MORE R AND D FUND FOR RESEARCH INSTITUTE, FOR UNIVERSITIES,
FOR COMMUNITY, PUTTING MORE COMPETITIONS AND AWARDS FOR
INNOVATIONS. IT BRINGS LOTS OF VALUE ON
HIGH TECH TO THE ISLANDS. AND ACTUALLY CHANGED
ATMOSPHERE OF THE ISLAND. IT WILL CHANGE HAWAI’I.
I MEAN, 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY IS NOT RENEWABLE ENERGY.
IT’S THE WHOLE CULTURE OF IT, I THINK IT ALSO CHANGES THE
WORLD. EVERYBODY LOOKS, THIS IS THE
MARKET HERE. WE HAVE THE RIGHTS WITH THAT,
INNOVATION, DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES.
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE STUDENTS GET JOBS IN HIGH TECH
AND STAY IN THE STATE, WORK ON HIGH TECH, REAL PROBLEMS AND
NOT ONLY REAL, REAL TIME PROBLEMS EVERY DAY IS LEADING
EDGE PROBLEMS. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS LIKE
AEROSPACE INDUSTRY OF POWER. IT’S VERY, VERY ADVANCED.
AND YES, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE JOBS.
>>MAHEALANI: WHAT ABOUT YOU, MR. MIKULINA DO YOU SEE MORE
JOBS OR DIFFERENT TYPES OF JOBS.
>>THE UNION SUPPORTED THIS MEASURE.
YOU CAN SEE THE SUPPORT. THEY MIGHT BE NERVOUS ABOUT
THE TRANSITION. ONE UNION INDIVIDUAL SHARED
WITH ME, HIS FIRST JOB WAS DOING METER READING ON
HAWAI’I ISLAND AND THEY USED TO CHECK THE METERS EVERY TWO
MONTHS. THEY MOVED IT TO EVERY MONTH.
SO EXCITED BECAUSE THEY DOUBLED THEIR JOBS.
SMART METERS COMING, THAT’S GOING TO BE A DIFFERENT
RELATIONSHIP. MAYBE SOMEONE IN A DIFFERENT
ROOM, MAYBE SOMEBODY DESIGNING ALGORITHMS AND
PROGRAMS.>>MAHEALANI: SMART METER LIKE
A SMART PHONE.>>THAT’S RIGHT.
HAVE THIS INTELLIGENCE AT YOUR HOME AND NOT JUST
MEASURING HOW MANY KILOWATTS BUT REAL TIME MEASURING AND
COMMUNICATING. SO THEY’RE GOING TO BE
DIFFERENT TYPES OF JOBS. BUT AGAIN, WE’RE
TRANSITIONING FROM SPENDING THAT MONEY OFFSHORE ON
IMPORTED FOSSIL FUEL TO SPENDING THAT MONEY IN CAP X
AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND HOPEFULLY IN LABOR? IF
THERE’S ONE CONSUMER ATTITUDE THAT YOU THINK THAT SHOULD
CHANGE RIGHT NOW, STARTING FROM LET’S SAY MONDAY, WHAT DO
YOU THINK THAT WOULD BE?>>ONE CONSUMER ATTITUDE.
IT’S REALLY THE CULTURE OF ENERGY.
FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, MINE, ENERGY IS STILL RELATIVELY
CHEAP. FOR WHAT WE GET OUT OF THIS
MAGIC OF ELECTRICITY, WE DON’T SPEND TOO MUCH ON IT.
WE CAN REALLY THINK OF A DIFFERENT AND LOOK AT HAWAI’I
AGAIN AS THIS INVENTOR AND THIS LEADER.
HAWAI’I HAS BEEN IN THAT LEADERSHIP SPACE IN THE PAST
AND WE CAN BE THERE IN THE FUTURE.
BUT I WOULD JUST HOPE PEOPLE WOULD APPRECIATE, I MEAN,
THIS MAGIC OF ENERGY AND THAT WE HAVE ALL OF THESE RESOURCES
IN HAWAI’I. WE’RE SQUANDERING THEM RIGHT
NOW. WE GET SO MUCH SUN EVERY DAY.
SO MUCH WIND OF OUR CALCULATIONS SAY WE HAVE
ABOUT THREE TIMES AS MUCH RENEWABLE ENERGY AS WE NEED TO
POWER OUR ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS AND TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.
SO WE CAN PUT THIS TO WORK FOR US AND WE ALL HAVE A ROLE TO
PLAY IN GETTING TO 100%.>>MAHEALANI: ON THAT NOTE,
THANK ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING US TONIGHT.
WHEN WE TURN OFF THE LIGHT SWITCH TONIGHT, WE’RE GOING
TO THINK ABOUT IT DIFFERENTLY THANK YOU.
INSIGHTS WILL BE ON HIATUS UNTIL JUNE 25TH.
WHEN WE RETURN, WE’LL EXPLORE OAHU’S PLASTIC BAG BAN WHICH
TAKES EFFECT JULY 1, TALK TO THE KEY PLAYERS WHO ARE
INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING THE LAW PASSED AND DISCUSS
POSSIBLE PITFALLS TO THE LEGISLATION WHICH AIMS TO
ELIMINATE NEARLY ALL PLASTIC BAG USE ON OAHU.
SO JOIN US AS WE ASK WILL A PLASTIC BAG BAN WORK ON OAHU?
THAT’S NEXT TIME ON INSIGHTS. I’M MAHEALANI RICHARDSON.
A HUI HO!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *