Inputs and Assumptions: What does the data really mean?

by Hawaii Powered | Sept. 6, 2022

Access the full Inputs and Assumptions Data Dashboard here.

Why does the data dashboard matter?

1. Transparency and responsibility

Despite the highly technical nature of inputs and assumptions, it’s important to share data and explain how we’re planning to achieve a Hawaii Powered future. Talin Sokugawa, manager of forecasting at Hawaiian Electric, hopes that the data dashboard will help the public “build confidence in Hawaiian Electric’s plans that result from modeling.” To ensure accurate and successful modeling, Hawaiian Electric has engaged stakeholders extensively over the past three years to review and validate assumptions, as well as provide transparency into both the inputs and processes.

2. Personal actions directly affect how we plan for the future

Christopher Lau, manager of corporate energy planning at Hawaiian Electric, says, “One thing I’d like viewers to take away from the dashboard is that there is a wide array of futures for electricity demand that we are considering in our planning, and we are considering an equally wide array of resource options on the demand and supply side to meet them.” A Hawaii Powered future looks different depending on the actions of customers and communities, but the goal remains the same: powering the electric grid with 100% renewable resources by 2045.

What are “Inputs and Assumptions”?

To reach our goal, we need to forecast how much clean energy we’ll need to generate to meet future customer needs. To do this, we plug in factors — also known as inputs — to model how much energy will be needed from the electric grid.

Inputs can be broken into three categories that are directly connected to customer actions:

Read Energy Efficiency, Electrification of Transportation, and Distributed Energy Resources.

We then combine inputs to map out various scenarios featuring low, medium and high amounts of energy that will need to be generated on the grid.

How to read the Data Dashboard:

The picture above depicts a Low Scenario on Hawaii Island:

Energy Efficiency is high: a large number of customers are making decisions to reduce their overall electricity use

Electrification of Transportation is low: the trend of moving from gas-powered transportation to electric transportation is less popular among customers

Distributed Energy Resources are high: customers are heavily participating in community-based and customer-sited renewable energy programs like shared solar, private rooftop solar and battery energy storage

The result of customers using electricity efficiently, driving more gas-powered modes of transportation than electric, and participating in community-based and customer-sited renewable energy programs is an electric grid that lowers energy demand to meet customer needs on Hawaii Island. Dig into the numbers here.

Note: Forecasting grid needs is an iterative and ongoing process that requires continuous updating as data evolves over time.

We hope this tool makes grid planning accessible and understandable to everyone! Explore, learn and remember that your actions directly affect our plans for a clean energy future.

Learn more about Hawaii Powered and our clean energy future at www.hawaiipowered.com.

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Hawaiian Electric

Established in 1891, Hawaiian Electric is committed to empowering its customers and communities by providing affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy.