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Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

Charting a New Fiscal Course for Hawaii: A Fiscal Architecture Approach

Charting a New Fiscal Course for Hawaii: A Fiscal Architecture Approach

Charting a New Fiscal Course for Hawaii: A Fiscal Architecture Approach

Annual Hawaii Forecast with Global Outlook: After a Cloudy 2019, New Year Looks a Bit Brighter


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Identifying priority watershed management areas for groundwater recharge protection on Hawai‘i Island

This report provides an analysis of the relative effectiveness of watershed conservation and restoration efforts in terms of groundwater recharge benefits in Hawaiʻi County Department of Water Supply (DWS) priority aquifers and recharge areas. In Kohala, Kona, and Kaʻū. With financial support from DWS and the National Science Foundation, EPSCoR ʻIke Wai project, this study builds upon a previous effort funded by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF). Specifically, this report extends the previous report for HCF by: 1) expanding the area of interest to include priority recharge areas as well as target aquifers identified by DWS; 2) including an analysis of potential spread of non-native grassland into native forest areas; 3) including an analysis of changes in potential fog interception with change in land cover; and 4) adding an assessment of priority areas for native forest restoration.

UHERO Report

 


Economic Impact of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority Tenant on the State of Hawaii in 2018

NELHA contracted the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) to estimate its economic impact on the State of Hawaii. To estimate expenditures made by NELHA tenants in 2018, UHERO researchers developed a survey where expenditures were broken down into 17 named categories and respondents were asked to provide total expenditures in 2018 and the share of these expenditures that were paid to Hawaii vendors. UHERO received responses from 36 NELHA companies (out of 44). Expenditure levels for the survey non-respondents were estimated using various techniques. Total NELHA tenant expenditures were estimated at $92.4 million, of which approximately $64.5 million (or 70%) were paid to Hawaii entities. Following a standard approach, UHERO defined economic impact to be the direct, indirect, and induced economic activities generated by the tenant’s spending in the Hawaii economy. The 2012 20-sector State Input- Output (I-O) model of the State of Hawaii prepared by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) was used to evaluate these impacts. The impact of NELHA’s in-state expenditures in 2018 on the State’s output (sales), earnings, and tax revenues was estimated to be $103.6, $25.5, and $4.8 million respectively. Furthermore, not only do NELHA tenants employ hundreds of people but their expenditures also contribute to hundreds of other jobs in the larger Hawaii economy (509 total excluding NELHA employees; NELHA itself employs an additional 17 people).

UHERO Report

 


Characterizing Hawai‘i’s Natural Resources Management Sector

This report provides an update to the 2015 “Recent Trends in Hawai‘i’s Green Economy: Agriculture, Energy, and Natural Resource Management” publication, the second update since our original report in 2012. Hawai‘i’s natural resource management jobs were at least 4,697 in 2018, 33% higher than reported for 2014, which is equivalent to an annual growth rate of roughly 7%.

According to survey data, Hawai‘i’s natural resource management expenditures were at least $542 million in 2018, roughly equal to expenditures reported for 2014.

UHERO Report

 


Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

In collaboration with the County of Hawai‘i Department of Water Supply (DWS), we identified three priority management areas on Hawai‘i Island: Kohala, Kona, and Kaʻū. These critical recharge areas were identified by DWS as important recharge areas for four aquifers where current withdrawals are near current or future sustainable yield limits: Mahukona, Waimea, Keauhou, and Kealakekua. We then developed a statistical model to assess how land cover change would affect evapotranspiration and subsequently groundwater recharge—building off existing evapotranspiration, climate, land cover, and recharge datasets—to identify areas of high potential recharge benefits within the priority areas following forest protection activities. Cost data from nearby watershed management units were used to calculate average management costs for each priority area, and then were combined with the potential recharge benefit map to generate a map of cost-effectiveness.

UHERO Report

 


Governing Green Power: How Should Utilities of the Future Make Money?

This report summarizes a two-day conference that addressed how future electric utilities will make money, a question provoked by advances in renewable energy and other distributed resources that cast doubt on conventional regulatory and business models. Engagement with issues in all of the sessions was strong, giving expression to a wide range of observations, opinions and questions.

UHERO Report

 


Economic Valuation of The Nature Conservancy’s Watershed Conservation Activities in Waikamoi Preserve, Maui

The objective of this research was to estimate the value of ecosystem services protected by watershed conservation activities at The Nature Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve on the island of Maui. Projections of monetized benefits, together with trajectories of conservation costs, were used to calculate net present value, payback period, and return on investment.

UHERO Report

 


Governing Green Power: Realigning Institutions To Fit New Technologies

The “Governing Green Power” conference was held in Honolulu at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, March 28-30, 2017. The motivation for the conference was the recognition that energy technologies are changing faster than energy-related institutions — the organizational structures, market mechanisms, and regulatory incentives that govern power generation, transmission, distribution and storage. The complex system of the future that many of us envision — what some call Utility 2.0 — will require a carefully balanced infrastructure, dynamic price setting, and sophisticated automated control systems. How can this vision be achieved? How do the institutions that govern the electricity sector need to change to ensure that Utility 2.0 will be managed as fairly and efficiently as possible?

UHERO Report

 


A Scoping Study for Climate Action Planning in Kauaʻi

This report documents best practices for county-level climate action plans (CAPs), with considerations for Kaua‘i. A CAP is primarily a process by which a jurisdiction agrees upon greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies and policies. This report is based on the gathering of studies and protocols addressing climate action planning and GHG mitigation best practices.

UHERO Report

 


A New Perspective on Hawaii’s Economy: understanding the role of clusters

Clusters are regional concentrations of related industries that arise because firms can benefit from being geographically close to one another. Proximity lowers transportation costs and fosters knowledge and labor sharing. As a result, the spatial concentration of economic activity is often a defining characteristic of regions. To better understand Hawaii’s economy and prospects for growth, we document Hawaii’s economic clusters at the state and county level and make comparisons to other US counties with similar characteristics.

UHERO Report

 


Financial Benefits to a University of Hawaii Education

Each year in the State of Hawaii, over 11,000 graduating seniors must decide whether to attend college or join the workforce. This report estimates the potential rate of return for associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and post-graduate degrees from the University of Hawaii (UH) system using a standard approach.

UHERO Report

 


Assessing the Costs of Priority HISC Species in Hawaii

Over the past decade, funding for the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) has ranged from less than $2 million per year in the three years following the recent economic downturn, up to almost $6 million in FY2015. The HISC website provides total award amounts for past projects, but it is difficult to attribute exact dollar amounts to specific species for projects that target multiple species. As a starting point, we consider the number of times each invasive species was designated as a target over the period FY2005-2015. While this list does not necessarily represent species that generated the largest economic damages or species for which the most spending has occurred, it is a list of species getting the most attention by HISC. For the most part, the top ten have remained fairly consistent over time, although in recent years, axis deer, albizia, and ivy gourd have received noticeably more attention.

PROJECT REPORT


The Evolution of the HI Growth Initiative

Supporting innovation as an engine of economic growth is an essential component of the state’s overall economic strategy. The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and its attached agencies, the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) are responsible for advancing innovation-oriented projects that improve the living standards of Hawaii residents by generating opportunities for high-wage job creation.

Project report


Recent Trends in Hawaii's Green Economy: Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resource Management

This report provides an update to the 2012 “Foundations for Hawai‘i’s Green Economy: Economic Trends in Hawai‘i Agriculture, Energy, and Natural Resource Management.” Although economic information has long been collected for many sectors in Hawai‘i, including agriculture and energy, the 2012 project was the first to collect indicators specifically for the natural resource management (NRM) sector. With financial support from Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation and research assistance from The Nature Conservancy, the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization was tasked with collecting and analyzing information from three sectors that are key to future sustainability in Hawai‘i - energy, agriculture and natural resource management.

project report


New Perspectives on Land and Housing Markets in Hawaii

Land leasing is common in Honolulu, with many owners of residential, industrial, and commercial buildings leasing land. This report examines land and housing markets in Honolulu and the mainland United States to understand better why prices and lease rents are so much higher in Honolulu than most other US cities. Three stylized facts stand out:  

  • Census data show that Hawaii home prices were already exceptionally high in 1950.
  • Over the last six decades, inflation-adjusted land and housing prices in Honolulu register small annual real increases.
  • Honolulu’s inflation-adjusted land and housing prices have been highly volatile in the medium term since the 1960s, forcing market participants to bear high levels of risk.

Project Report


Making an Optimal Plan for 100% Renewable Power in Hawaii

The State of Hawaii has adopted the unprecedented goal of building a 100 percent renewable power system by 2045. This report identifies some of the central challenges in achieving this goal and uses the SWITCH power system planning model to identify solutions to these challenges. A 100% renewable power system must balance electricity supply and demand on two main time scales: diurnal (providing enough power each hour of the day) and seasonal (providing enough total energy on each day of the year). The diurnal balance could be achieved by installing large amounts of primarily solar production capacity, then using batteries, demand response, biofuels or hydrogen production to shift power production and/or consumption between day and night. The seasonal balance may be more challenging. Energy demand during days or weeks with low sunlight could be met by building extra solar and wind capacity, using biofuels, or using hydrogen produced during sunny months. Demand response will likely be less expensive than the other options for day-night energy balancing, and customer-sited solar may be competitive with utility-scale solar; consequently electric utilities may need to become energy integrators and market managers, rather than bulk power providers.It is unclear how much biofuel the State could use without compromising other environmental and energy independence objectives; consequently hydrogen energy storage merits serious consideration. SWITCH or similar models can be used to identify optimal long-term plans; however, a new incentive system is needed to encourage the State's utilities to develop and implement such plans, regardless of who will own the generating equipment.

white paper


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