Researchers with this Industry/University Cooperative Research Center program perform projects identified by industry. Examples are carbon storage in soils under biofuel feedstock production and net energy analysis and greenhouse gas emissions from Eucalyptus plantations activities.
HNEI retained FACTS, Inc. to evaluate the potential importation of LNG to Hawaii, including potential demand, the costs and benefits compared to other fossil fuels, potential impacts on the State economy, and an assessment of appropriate regulatory processes and practices. The study concluded that LNG could dramatically cut energy costs for Hawaii consumers if obtained from the right source and on gas-indexed prices.
HNEI researchers have initiated an investigation of thermochemical hydrogen production strategies from waste resources. Results will be reported when available.
HNEI developed a bioenergy master plan in accordance with Act 253, Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) 2007, to “set the course for the coordination and implementtation of policies and procedures to develop a bioenergy industry in Hawaii.” Development of the plan included substantial contributions from industry, government agencies, and academia. Issues addressed included: land and water Resources, distribution infrastructure, labor resources, bioenergy technology, permitting, financial incentives, business partnering, economic impacts, and environmental impacts.
The Hawai‘i Renewable Hydrogen Program was established by HRS 196-10 to manage the State’s transition to a renewable hydrogen economy. HNEI was tasked with developing a plan for implementation during the years 2010-2020, to transition Hawai‘i Island to a renewable hydrogen economy and to extend the application of the plan throughout the State.
HNEI has contracted with PICHTR to assess the current environment for geothermal development in the state, and to prepare a strategic development plan that will help agencies be prepared for the complex planning, assessment, regulatory, and permitting activities required.
To validate a new geophysical inversion and analysis procedure to map the subsurface structure of the geothermal resource and lower exploration costs, with near-term target areas on both the Island of Hawaii and Maui.
In this project a method of analysis was developed and applied to a generic bio-oil from microalgae process. In practice many of the bottlenecks revealed remain to be solved. The analysis framework presented herein was developed to aid analyses of future systems that propose specific solutions.
Under the Hawaii Distributed Energy Resource Technologies for Energy Security Project, HNEI researchers conducted a variety of bioenergy resource studies including assessments of invasive species, lease instruments for State lands, a statewide GIS analysis of phototrophic open pond algae production potential, and bioenergy value chain components life cycle and related work.
HNEI researchers are evaluating LPG reforming as a potential source of hydrogen for distributed fuel cell power applications in Hawaii.