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.
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 New 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 more information on Hawaii’s energy sector and progress in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation, download the 2019 Hawaii Energy Facts & Figures (PDF).
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.