by Andrew Walden
Did you actually believe the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) was designed to reduce the state's CO2 emissions?
With the Clean Energy Initiative directing energy policies, Hawaii electric rates have gone up sharply. Now a report from the environmental group Ceres.org shows that Hawaii is one of the very few states where CO2 emissions are going up as well.
Climate Central July 14, 2015 reports:
Though most states are slowing their emissions, the report shows eight states moving in the opposite direction, each seeing an increase in its emissions rate between 2008 and 2015. They include Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho and Alaska. Another is Hawaii, which generates most of its power using imported crude oil and has passed a law requiring 100 percent of the state’s electricity to be generated using renewables by 2045 — the first state to make such a commitment.
HCEI was launched in 2008.
Why would CO2 output be increasing while Hawaii approves nearly 70,000 solar installations--by far the highest per capita in the USA--and pours taxpayer dollars into windfarms? It is because of what Hawaii is not doing. Climate Central continues:
...42 states are already reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants on their own as they move toward using less coal and more natural gas to produce electricity. Between 2008 and 2013, those states reduced greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants by an average of 19 percent, according to a report published Tuesday by sustainability advocacy group Ceres, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Bank of America and four large utilities....
Hawaii Solar and Wind schemers have consistently opposed the use of LNG in Hawaii because it would reduce the cost of electricity and thereby undermine their so-called clean energy technologies. They are interested only in their crony capitalist profits: Global warming is just a sales pitch.
Doing its best to cover up the real story, Pacific Business News July 22, 2015 reports, "Hawaii gets high marks for low emissions, new report says." Ceres does report Hawaii's total CO2 emissions at 7.4M tons, 9th lowest in the USA. But this is not a per capita or per MWH measurement. Hawaii is a small state, nobody needs home heating and many do without air conditioning. So having low emissions is not surprising--and it is certainly not reflective of any success on the part of HCEI.
What matters is whether the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is delivering the CO2 reductions which for many justify the increased expense.
The answer is no.
According to Ceres, Hawaii CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are 1,720 lbs per MWH, 23rd highest in USA. Because of Hawaii's poor fuel mix and profit-motivated reliance on irregular wind and solar instead of stable natural gas, Hawaii's CO2 emission rate from all sources is 1,445 lbs per MWH, 14th highest in USA--and rising.