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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Achieving 100 percent Renewable Energy In Hawaii By 2045

Date: 2016-03-16           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 6:30 pm -8:00 pm
Location: i-Lab (in Building 37)
Speaker: Matthias Fripp, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Sponsored by University of Hawaii IEEE Student Branch and IEEE Hawaii Section

In 2015, the Hawaii Legislature passed HB623, requiring that the State's utilities obtain 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. This is the most ambitious renewable target in the country, and poses a planning challenge of unprecedented complexity for the power system. This talk will present some of the key challenges in building a 100% renewable power system, and discuss the technologies that could be used to keep the power system balanced on a daily and seasonal basis. It will also present an open-source optimization model -- called SWITCH -- that can be used to design optimal power systems under a wide variety of policy and technical constraints, including the 100% renewable requirement. With the right combination of renewable resources, storage and demand response, it appears that the 100% target can be met at a cost that is competitive with fossil fuels. This can be done with existing technologies and less storage than some might expect. However, important decisions will need to be made about land use, and new technologies and incentives will need to be put in place to adjust power consumption to match the power supply, rather than the other way around.

About the speaker:
Matthias Fripp is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and founder of the U.H. Smart Power Lab. He specializes in designing power systems to produce power at the lowest cost while incorporating large shares of renewable energy. Additional work focuses on technologies that could be used to shift electricity demand to times when power is more abundant (especially renewable power), and mechanisms for integrating this demand response into power system operations. Dr. Fripp is a member of U.H.'s Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability (REIS) group, the U.H. Economic Research Organization (UHERO) and the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum (HEPF). He received a Ph.D. and M.S. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.