Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the entire United States. Middle class families typically pay $300/month for a single family residence electric bill. So, when Hawaiis largest solar farm was recently completed on Lanai, one would expect the residents to breathe a sigh of relief expecting some electricity bill relief themselves.
No cigar. At least not yet. The 10 acre solar farm provides enough power to meet 30% of the islands electricity demand, and is also the site of a proposed 400 MW wind farm. However, high capital investment requirements of these projects mean that the residents will continue to pay same electricity rates for the short to medium term. However, innovation in Solar Power House technologies and increasing economies of scale means that the cost of solar power is falling at the rate of 10% per year. This translates to roughly less than half of todays prices in 6 years. This means that very soon and certainly over their life times the residents can expect to realistically see meaningful reductions in their electricity bills. Show me the money indeed 🙂
Meanwhile in the immediate future they are spared from the pollution caused by fossil fuels, independence from fuel price volatilities. Additionally, national security implications are not to be forgotten as we stop funding countries whose values and way of life are different from ours.
This Hawaiian paradise just became even more attractive!