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Podcast / Audio

Hawaii All-in on Solar - Goes Big on EVs

image credit: Martin Rosenberg
Martin Rosenberg's picture
Journalist, Author, Social Media and Conference Architect, Hippo Energy Media

Experienced journalist, executive conference architect, strategic thinker with a demonstrated history of working in information services. Strong professional skilled in Copywriting, Editing...

  • Member since 2005
  • 75 items added with 42,942 views
  • Jun 2, 2021

With nearly 90,000 rooftop solar systems, Hawaii is a national leader when it comes to solar power. Now, the state is taking the next step in its clean energy journey with a goal to electrify most ground transportation by 2035. 

In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Constance Lau who is the President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, the parent of Hawaiian Electric. The discussion focuses on Hawaii's renewable energy portfolio and the impact of going all EV.

“We have to get ready for a lot more provision of electricity because we’ll be providing electricity not to just the normal parts of the economy - but now if transportation starts switching over to use electricity as a fuel, we’ll have to be prepared to provide that as well,” said Lau.

A concurrent goal would see Hawaii become carbon neutral 2045. That means Hawaii is ramping up renewables. Ms. Lau explains why it’s more complicated than just adding more capacity.

“We’re seeing very interesting discussions where competing land use policies are needing to be discussed and judgement calls made by our policy makers.”

She also talks about the challenge of integrating all the distributed systems to create an efficient grid for powering homes, businesses, and vehicles.

Ms. Lau joined the HEI companies in 1984 and has served in numerous legal, financial, operating and executive roles. She is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of critical infrastructure, resilience and physical and cyber security, banking, and energy. 

Ms. Lau graduated from Yale College with a B.S. in administrative sciences. She earned a juris doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a master’s in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Grid Talk is a podcast featuring the leaders and innovators shaping the 21st century grid. Hear the stories—in their own words—of how they are meeting the challenges and transitioning their businesses to operate successfully in a new era of evolving markets, changing regulations, higher customer expectation, increasing cybersecurity threats, demands for cleaner energy sources, growing customer-owned generations and emerging technology. The podcast is part of Department of Energy’s Voices of Experience, an initiative that supports grid modernization by sharing insights, lessons learned and advice on operating in a rapidly evolving industry.

About the Host

Grid Talk is hosted by award winning, energy journalist Marty Rosenberg. For nearly 40 years, Marty has been covering business, energy, finance, and technology. He was the Editor-in-Chief for EnergyBiz from 2004 to 2014. EnergyBiz was an award-winning national publication covering energy and utilities. Marty has been published in multiple media outlets including the New York Times, Huffington Post and USA Today. Marty plugs into the industry knowledge base to deliver critical information about the opportunities and challenges facing utilities today. The result is engaging conversations about modernizing our electric grid.

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