Hawaii Administrator Sees Turning Point in Energy Transformation for 2013 and Beyond

The head of the Hawaii Energy Office says that 2013 was a turning point in the energy transformation in the state, where a number a barriers were identified and clear strategies set for the next several years.

“To go beyond our existing goals, there were a series of actions,” State Energy Office Administrator Mark Glick told PBN. “We’re now taking on the harder issues and finding solutions.”

He pointed out that no one had predicted a higher renewable energy penetration at this stage, especially on the solar photovoltaic side.

“The good news [is] that the turning point that has identified some measures and technical improvements,” Glick said. “We make those things happen [and] we will exceed our ultimate goals.”

Looking ahead to 2014, he noted that it will be a year of fulfilling those measures, including the Oahu-to-Maui grid tie, which involves the development of an undersea cable as well as modernizing the grids.

Additionally, 2014 will be a year to make decisions on the institution of standards, find better measures to procure development as well as further demonstrations, international collaborations and the implementation of test-bed projects.

Glick also said that by the end of next year, the state will have made a strong thrust towards the 2020 goals for renewable portfolio standards, which is to be 25 percent renewable.

“The key thing there, we will see that in additional projects, also with key infrastructure developments which will support that as well, [such as the undersea cable],” he said. “Next year [will be the year to] set the stage for full compliance by 2020.”

Glick says that, unofficially, Hawaii is currently beyond 15 percent renewable and 15 percent in efficiency and will be in excess of its 2015 goals.