Another established non-utility LPG (propane) supplier is AmeriGas, doing business statewide as Oahu Gas Service, Maui Gas Service and AmeriGas Big Island. Oahu Gas Service is located in Campbell Industrial Park, where direct shipments of propane are received from the refinery.
Hawaiʻi Gas will consider proposals for one or multiple forms of RNG and renewable hydrogen, or a blend of the two. Hawaiʻi Gas already leads the nation in blending both RNG and hydrogen into its utility gas supply on Oahu. Additional sources of these renewable and clean fuels will enable the company to further diversify its fuel supply and reduce its overall carbon footprint in line with the State’s climate goals. With the development of standardized refrigerated shipping containers, Hawaiian utilities hope to import more LNG to the islands and push the price of electricity down. Since 1904 Hawaii Gas has been the only franchised gas utility in the State of Hawaii. Because Hawaii has no naturally occurring source of petroleum products or natural gas like those found on the mainland, Hawaii Gas produces Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) from petroleum by-products.
SNG and propane have a smaller carbon footprint, emitting 30% to 45% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than other energy sources such as coal and oil. Renewable hydrogen can be produced using renewable electricity for electrolysis and steam methane reforming of renewable natural gas. Hawaiʻi Gas will consider proposals for one or multiple forms of renewable natural gas and renewable hydrogen, or a blend of the two. Fifteen percent of energy in Hawaii comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass. The Hawaiian archipelago is among the most isolated places on earth—it’s farther away from a major landmass than any other island chain on the planet.
- Finally, adapting to long lead times to receive new trucks from manufacturers or bodybuilders and higher ocean freight costs to get them to Hawaii is another challenge.
- Hawaiʻi Gas will consider proposals for one or multiple forms of renewable natural gas and renewable hydrogen, or a blend of the two.
- An Iran deal, he said, would add another 1.5 million barrels of crude into the market.
- Additional utility services are provided to other parts of Oahu and the neighbor islands by underground lines that supply gas to customers from a centrally located propane tank or holder.
- But oil is not among the targets, with the Biden administration saying there is no “strategic interest” in further disrupting the global energy supply.
- Nationally, policy trends and new technologies are raising questions about the future of gas.
The propane is then distributed to its Oahu customers and shipped to Maui Gas Service and AmeriGas Big Island, where it is stored in holder tanks for distribution to customers. Hawaiians, more than residents of any other state, will likely see higher gasoline and energy costs due to Russia’s Ukraine war and the resulting soaring oil prices. The use of propane (LPG) is a part of everyday living for many homeowners and businesses. Moreover, it is critical to the stability of essential functions during emergencies and severe weather as it is used to operate emergency command centers, fire stations, hospitals, shelters and other essential services statewide. When the electrical grid is damaged or not functioning properly, gas energy is readily available and easy to set up to cook, heat water for showers or sanitation, and backup power.
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Hawaii’s two refineries had satisfied state gasoline and diesel demands for years, even before electric vehicles made inroads into the state’s transportation sector. Hawaii has a long history of jet fuel imports, however, due to its outsized airline needs. SB 3190 and HB 2168 authorized special purpose revenue bonds to help finance a solar energy facility on Oahu and hydrogen generation and conversion facilities at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, located on Hawaii island. Comprehensive data summaries, comparisons, analysis, and projections integrated across all energy sources. The company’s trucks are used for propane gas delivery, pipeline repair and maintenance applications, customer residential services, and internal-use applications.
“What we’re doing … is transitioning from the cheapest fossil fuel to the most expensive fossil fuel,” Wakai said. “And we’re going to be subjected to geopolitical issues on pricing for oil as well as access to oil.” Blue Planet Points out that for Hawaii to shift completely to natural gas would require hundreds of millions dollars in new infrastructure.  Alex Gangitano, “Biden warns energy prices could be impacted if Russia invades Ukraine,” The Hill, Feb. 15, 2022. All things considered, the Jones Act has never been a good deal for Hawaii.
“Low-sulfur crude oil is ideal for manufacturing low-sulfur fuel oil for Hawaiian Electric to use for electrical power generation. Using low-sulfur crude also means less sulfur emissions in the air, which is good for the environment.” Par Hawaii writes that they prefer purchasing crude from Alaska when possible. However, since this crude has a higher sulfur content, the utility fuels that are produced need to be blended with other products to meet environmental requirements of Hawaiian Electric’s fuel for generating electricity. Propane is not regarded as a greenhouse gas and is even listed as an approved clean energy source by the 1990 Clean Air Act and Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Renewable & Alternative Fuels
The utility has used RNG produced at the City and County of Honolulu’s award-winning Honouliuli Wastewater RNG facility since 2018. Hawaiʻi Gas also blends up to 15% hydrogen into its gas mix and has been doing so since 1974. AES, the operator of Hawaii’s last coal plant, has transitioned to creating clean energy and is working on large solar farms across the state, including one in West Oahu that will replace some lost coal energy when completed next year. The last coal shipment arrived in the islands at the end of July, and the AES Corporation coal plant closed Thursday after 30 years in operation.
As oil prices have climbed in recent years, electricity prices in Hawaii are now between three and fives times higher than average electricity prices on the mainland. Putnam said Hawaiian Electric is working to add more renewable resources and battery storage to island grids in an effort to stabilize rates for customers and reduce dependence on oil for power generation. Since 2008, the utility has reduced its oil consumption by 113 million gallons, or about 25%. Russian crude oil has played a prominent role in Hawaii’s oil mix in recent years. In 2020, more crude came to Hawaii from Russia than any other part of the world.
But critics say that while ending the state’s dirtiest source of energy is ultimately a good move, doing so now is not. Renewable sources meant to replace coal energy are not yet online because of permitting delays, contract issues and pandemic-related supply-chain problems.