HNEI has conducts research for development of alternative fuels including fuels derived from biomass; hydrogen; and methane hydrates. HNEI also supports efforts to assess the use of LNG in Hawaii’s energy mix.
HNEI has an established research and technology assessment program in integrated energy and systems analysis of grid power technologies.
This effort includes analysis and modeling of grid systems with high amounts of renewable energy resources, power distribution and microgrid systems, advanced power system monitoring, intelligent control, communications, energy storage systems, smart grids and related enabling technologies.
HNEI has active programs in photovoltaics (PV) and ocean energy and is conducting limited testing of small scale wind turbines. PV work focuses on the development and deployment of PV test beds to characterize performance and lifetime in different micro-climates across Hawaii. HNEI's Ocean Energy program focuses on support of testing at Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).
Hawaii has aggressive goals for reduction of fossil fuel usage through energy efficiency. HNEI’s primary activities in this area are research efforts on energy efficient buildings and support of Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC).