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Most Electricity Expensive USA State Hawaii implements a Limited Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff despite Utility Opposition

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Hawaii is the most electricity expensive state in the USA with retail electricity rates of as high as 28c/Kwh which is almost 40% more expensive than the second most state.The island state is also the most heavily fossil fuel dependent state making the government target a 70% renewable energy target by 2030 with 40% coming from Green Energy and 30% from Energy Efficiency.However the state has not found much private investment due to a lack of a coherent Green Incentive Policy.Unlike California which has seen a massive increase in solar installations,Hawaii has been a laggard mostly.The State seems to have made some progress by implementing a limited Green Feed in Tariff (FIT) Policy for installation under 5 MW.The Feed in Tariff Rates however are pretty poor,even less  than the retail electricity rates making the success of the Green Policy a big question.

The Feed  in Tariff Rates are quite Low but Something Better than Nothing

The HPUC has given a FIT rate which is quite low for solar energy and has failed to implement a policy for installations between 500-5000 KW.Also the FIT rates for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) does not make sense at all for under 500 KW installations.Don’t think there exists a single decent producer of such small CSP plants.The FIT Policy was passed despite stiff opposition from the island’s utilities who questioned the Feed in Tariff as a good Green Incentive.The huge success enjoyed in Europe by FIT did not make a big impression.Note 80% of the world’s solar installations depend on Feed in Tariffs.While there have been bad implementation cases of FIT in Spain and Czech,there have been huge successes in other countries like Germany and UK.HPUC  rightly decided to go ahead as trial and errors would be needed . It won’t lead to a huge boom in solar in Hawai due to poor returns however it should lead to some boost to existing solar producers or those who were going to install solar anyway.

Owners of Solar Panels in Hawaii to Benefit from Feed-In Tariff – GetSolar

Hawaii’s plans for a feed-in tariff — which have been in the works for quite some time — are one step closer to being realized, thanks to a decision Wednesday by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC). The decision is part of a broad push in Hawaii to get 40 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by 2030.

According to the regulator’s ruling, homeowners and commercial property owners who install solar panels in Hawaii will get paid for any excess electricity they generate. Those who sign up and participate in the program will get paid 21.8 cents for each kilowatt hour (kWh) that is fed back into the electric grid. Since the going rate for residential electricity is higher on many parts of the islands, the feed-in tariff will really be best suited to homeowners — and businesses — that have solar energy systems that produce more electricity than they use on an annual basis.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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