Solar thermal systems (including solar water heaters) use the sun’s energy to heat water for residential use (up to 160°F); industrial use, including air conditioning (170-350°F); or electricity generation (350-2000°F). Tens of thousands of solar water heaters are in use in Hawaii. There is one solar thermal electricity production facility at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) in Kona, Hawaii.
Photovoltaic systems do not have the moving parts or steam production found in most other electricity generation systems. Instead, the sunlight shines on the solar cell and causes an electric current to be generated directly. Thousands of photovoltaic systems are in use in Hawaii. Some generate power for use on-site (on residential, commercial, and other buildings); other (larger) systems generate power that is provided directly to electric utilities.
|Percentage of electricity
generated by solar, 2015
|8%||Nationwide rank of cumulative
installed PV capacity per capita,
of PV array
|Levelized cost of PV, Hawaii utility scale||~13‐14.5¢ /
|Installed cost, U.S.,
|$3.29 / W||Installed cost, U.S.,
|$1.80 / W|
|Statewide 2014 construction
expenditures attributed to
|7.4%||Acres per megawatt
|3.3 – 7.2
For additional information:
- Hawaii State Energy Office Publications (Solar tab)
- Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy – Solar
- Hawaiian Electric Company
Electricity provider for 95% of Hawaii’s population, serving all islands except Kauai. The Competitive Bidding for News Generation page has information on current and upcoming renewable energy purchases and solicitations.
- Kauai Island Utility Cooperative
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Information and analysis of renewable energy technologies, policies, and costs. Includes the Photographic Information eXchange – photographs of renewable energy projects, searchable by location and technology.
- U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Renewable EnerGIS Map
- HECO Locational Value Map for Oahu
- HECO Locational Value Map for Maui, Lanai, Molokai (PDF)
- HECO Locational Value Map for Hawaii Island (PDF)
For information and data on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Hawaii, download Hawaii Energy Facts & Figures, November 2016 Edition.
Please note that we do not necessarily verify, endorse or agree with statements or opinions presented on the listed sites. Links are provided to sites that appeared to provide information, present additional perspectives, or lead to further discussion on this or related topics.