The Renewables Challenge: Matching Loads to Resources
Hawaii has an abundance of renewable energy resources, such as sun, wind, geothermal, and ocean resources. Harnessing these resources to supply power in a reliable fashion can be challenging. The growing solar energy supply during the day creates a very steep ramping curve in the early evening as this resource wanes. While load curves have always fluctuated according to the rhythm of our daily lives, the variable nature of renewable resources compounds the issue. At the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum, Jim Lazar presented strategies to better align loads and resources, along with recommended policies, programs, and pricing. Based on the RAP publication “Teaching the Duck to Fly,” Mr. Lazar recommends targeting conservation at high-cost hours, installing controls on electric water heaters, requiring new AC units to have storage, implementing time-varying pricing for all customers, phasing down solar incentives as the industry matures, and ensuring rate design does not push solar customers off-grid.