Hawaii's Pivot to Sustainability – Energy Central

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Hawaii gets about one-third of its energy from renewables, and it aims to get to 100 percent by 2045. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg interviews Stephen Walls, the deputy chief energy officer of the Hawaii State Energy Office.
The state is still busy assessing the impact of Maui’s devastating fires on its electric grid. 
“The office is going through an exercise of trying to think through and identify what resources the state does have, to make sure that the energy system remains available, even in, during strange or extreme weather events,” said Walls.
Long term, the question is how the state gets to 100 percent renewable generation. 
“I think we’re encouraged by a few things. One, Kauai – over half of its energy supplied is renewable and if they are able to complete their pump storage hydro project, then they’ll be pushing over 70 percent and they’ll still have the rest of the time to figure out what else they should do”
Walls says the state is banking on continued technology change and cost improvements.
“We’ve led with the use of and reliance on distributed energy renewable resources and will continue to do that and be at one of the leading voices in smart inverters and inverter-based resources in providing grid services there.”
Stephen Walls has worked on energy and climate issues in the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors. Prior to working for the Hawaii State Energy Office, he worked for the U.S. Department of Energy and General Electric.
Stephen earned his J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School and studied International Relations (B.A.) and Economics (B.S.) at the University of Delaware.
About Grid Talk:
Grid Talk is a podcast featuring the leaders and innovators shaping the 21st century grid. Hear the stories—in their own words—of how they are meeting the challenges and transitioning their businesses to operate successfully in a new era of evolving markets, changing regulations, higher customer expectation, increasing cybersecurity threats, demands for cleaner energy sources, growing customer-owned generations and emerging technology. The podcast is part of Department of Energy’s Voices of Experience, an initiative that supports grid modernization by sharing insights, lessons learned and advice on operating in a rapidly evolving industry.
About the Host:
Grid Talk is hosted by award winning, energy journalist Marty Rosenberg. For nearly 40 years, Marty has been covering business, energy, finance, and technology. He was the Editor-in-Chief for EnergyBiz from 2004 to 2014. EnergyBiz was an award-winning national publication covering energy and utilities. Marty has been published in multiple media outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post and USA Today. Marty plugs into the industry knowledge base to deliver critical information about the opportunities and challenges facing utilities today. The result is engaging conversations about modernizing our electric grid.
For more episodes – https://www.smartgrid.gov/gridtalk/
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