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Hawaii – geothermal potential could offer reliability on clean energy in the State

Video footage of Puna Geothermal plant in Hawaii (source: screenshot KiTV)
Alexander Richter 26 Jul 2019

A recent study presented by a researcher at the Hawaii Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center highlights the potential that geothermal energy could offer to Hawaii in providing reliability on renewable energy in its clean energy targets.

A recent piece on Hawaii Public Radio looks into how the unexplored geothermal potential could solve the problem of reliability on renewable energy.

Currently depending largely on solar and battery storage to achieve its 100 percent renewable electricity goal, geothermal energy actually could provide a carbon-free solution dealing with the inconsistency of solar and wind.

With the Puna geothermal power plant of Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) not operational due to the volcanic activities in 2018, there is no geothermal power generation at the moment. Prior to the closure of PGV, it provided about 25% of the electricity demand of the big island of Hawaii. The company now plans a restart late this year.

Before 2018, geothermal (by PGV) represented around 4 percent of the total electricity production for the State of Hawaii.

But there is large untapped geothermal potential, as highlighted by the reference to a study by the Hawaii Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center.

Apart from the land use, geothermal needs around one acre per installed MW in power generation capacity, solar needs between 5 and 10 acres per MW, while wind fluctuates between 30 and 100 acres per MW.

With its baseload capacity it is a great option … but how much it can help the state reach its renewable energy target, will require a better characterization of the resources in Hawaii.

Here the presentation:

Renewable Energy in Hawai?i… by HPR News on Scribd

Source: Hawaii Public Radio