There's no other better spot than Hawaii, when it comes to having a look at the problems of turning the electric grid green. With 21 per cent of its energy now originating from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels; Hawaii has turned into a research center for those planning on reinventing the grid. A new law commands that renewables will supply the majority of the state's electricity by 2045.
But, Hawaii's gird is as of now running into problems with its heavy helping of rooftop solar and other carbon-free renewables. Among them: sudden swings in the yield of wind and solar energy, which force the state's main utility to scramble with an attempt to keep the overall supply of power steady.
State authorities agreed that there were some issues. Mark Glick, head of the Hawaii State Energy Office said that but, they are highly optimistic and were going to figure out through these issues and become energy self-reliant. They won’t be lacking confidence in any circumstances.
Despite the fact that Hawaii's exertion is attracting attention around the world, its electric framework is unusual. For starters, every island has its own electric grid, and they aren't connected. On the terrain, three major power grids serve 48 states; normally, the greater the grid, the more stable it is.
As per federal data, Hawaii remains the only state, which burns oil to generate the most part of its power - around 70 per cent for the islands versus 1 per cent for the U.S. as a whole. The data revealed that it has pushed Hawaii's average power cost to 34 cents per kilowatt-hour; the highest in the U.S. and almost triple the national average.
According to data from Hawaiian Electric Industries, the state’s biggest utility, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 50 per cent of an unusual number of islanders have placed solar panels on their rooftops. On Oahu, where the majority of Hawaii's population lives, 13 per cent of residential utility customers have solar system, compared to other states.
More than 50,000 houses in the state act as tiny power plants, putting any power that they don't use onto the grid. But, the girds were designed to zip electrons across over high-voltage wires from a couple of big power plants to homes and organizations. They were not allowed to work the other way around.
Traditional power plants weren't designed to increase and decrease rapidly, either—making it tough to assimilate blasts of solar power included to the grid-framework on sunny days or make up for a sudden drop on cloudy days.
ProVision Solar, Inc. president Marco Mangelsdorf said that it is a great experiment that is playing out at this moment in Hawaii. (ProVision Solar installs photovoltaic panels on the Big Island of Hawaii).
According to Hawaiian Electric, Oahu has 470 MW of renewables and peak demands of about 1,100 MW. So, at times as much as 33 per cent of its electricity comes from green sources. But, a ton of it shuts down at night, when the sun sets. So, the utility needs to balance things out with its own energy plants.
Utilities typically have no way to gauge the measure of electricity being placed on power cables by solar panels, in real time. Nor would they be able to control it.