Rooftop solar power in Hawaii faces unexpected problems

The cost of rooftop solar power in Hawaii is lower than grid power. But interconnect costs, balky utilities, and a flood of those wanting rooftop solar have led to problems.

First in the U.S., Hawaii residents and businesses can install solar power – without incentives – for less than the cost of grid electricity. But as local Earthjustice lawyer Isaac Moriwake notes, “the gates of heaven do not open just because solar is cheap.” Instead, a number of unexpected barriers have kept the solar market from to its full potential or growing as quickly as it might. ILSR’s new report, Hawaiian Sunblock: Solar Facing Unexpected Barriers Despite Low Cost, explores these barriers and how Hawaii’s experience might provide valuable lessons as the cost of solar makes it competitive across the country.


  1. Maybe it’s just me, but … uhhmmm, I don’t find it quite sensible to live where you have to import everything you need to live.

    • Some people, in in Hana on Maui, live off the grid and hunt, fish, and grow their own food. But for most of us that wouldn’t work nor would we want to live that way. And they still have cars, which uses gasoline imported from the mainland.

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