Unit 4 Assignment-Renewable Energy
Living in a mild tropical climate in Hawaii, my energy uses are primarily electricity and gasoline. Electricity in Hawaii is produced mainly from petroleum, as is gasoline. Hawaii is the most petroleum dependent state in the nation, accounting for “...about 90 percent of all energy needs and 75 percent of electricity production in Hawaii” (Star Advertiser, 2012). The electricity I use at my home however is from a renewable source – solar. I have 66 PV panels installed on the roof of my house that generates enough electricity to power everything in my home. Since our seasons do not change as drastically as in other parts of the United States, our energy consumption remains relatively consistent. During the summer months, when heat is a factor an increase in energy consumption may occur as air conditioners and fans are more frequently used. Another spike in electricity use is during the holiday season, when decorations and Christmas lights are displayed.
Hawaii is an ideal location for renewable energy resources. We have the ocean that is a source of hydroelectric power, the winds to power turbines to generate electricity, geothermal energy from the volcanoes, and solar power from the sun. There are about a dozen hydroelectric projects throughout the state of Hawaii – on the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai- generating a total of approximately 30 megawatts of power. Additional hydroelectric power projects are under consideration on Kauai that would produce an estimated 80,000 megawatt-hours of electricity (Star Advertiser, 2012). Wind power projects are also becoming increasingly popular in Hawaii. In 2011, Kahuku Wind began operation of 12 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 30 megawatts. This project is enough to power about 7,700 homes on Oahu. In November 2012, Kawailoa Wind began operation of 30 Siemens wind turbine generators near the north shore of Oahu. This project...