Hawaii has no coal mines, and the isolation of Hawaii makes nuclear power a non-option, because transportation of wastes are too dangerous. Around 75 percent of Hawaii’s electricity production is fueled by petroleum.
Due to the breezy tropical climate, Hawaiian homes are cooled easily by wind, and seldom heated. People run air conditioners as much to dehumidify as to cool. Hawaii ranks 49th out of 50 states in per capita electricity consumption.
The greatest demand for electricity in Hawaii is commercial. Of the eight islands in the chain, only two support petroleum-fired electrical production facilities: Maui and Oahu. Facilities on the other islands include renewable power stations on Kauai, Maui and the island of Hawaii.
Petroleum for electricity is imported as crude from Alaska. Two refineries on the island of Oahu process the fuel into oxygenated motor gas, the only legal petroleum fuel for electricity production in Hawaii.
Shift to Renewable
Hawaii passed a law in 2009 that requires all electricity producers to produce a minimum of 10 percent using renewable means. By 2030, they are required to have 40 percent of their portfolios in renewables. Renewable production in Hawaii includes solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and waves. Wave-generated electricity is particularly appropriate for Hawaii, because it has some of the most active wave activity in the world.