On The Carbon Copy podcast this week:
Hawaii wants a carbon-free electric grid by 2045. First, the island of Oahu must replace a major coal plant later this year.
But will there be enough renewable energy to fill the gap?
This week on The Carbon Copy, we examine the delays that are causing complications with Hawaii’s transition away from coal.
We’re joined by Canary Senior Reporter Julian Spector, who recently traveled to Oahu to investigate the story.
Hawaii has long been a nationwide leader in solar development. In 2015, lawmakers crafted a law mandating an all-renewable grid within a few decades. And last year, they passed a bill that would end coal production in the state.
As large-scale solar and battery projects like the Kapolei Energy Storage facility break ground, Hawaii is inching closer to a fossil-free grid. But impediments to projects are causing concern that the grid will get dirtier — and potentially less reliable — when the AES coal plant shuts down.
“If things don’t go smoothly, it certainly could give fodder to people who say that it’s dangerous to move too fast. That would be an unforced error for the energy transition because technically, there’s no reason that this shouldn’t work,” explains Julian.
Guest: Julian Spector, senior reporter at Canary Media.
Recommended reading and viewing:
- Feature article: “Hawaii has a one-year deadline to ditch coal. Can it keep the lights on?” by Julian Spector
- Video: “Hawaii turns to clean energy as coal power goes extinct in the state”
- Series: “Hawaii surges toward clean energy”
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