Guam Territory Energy Profile



Guam Quick Facts

  • Guam, with no conventional energy resources, relies on petroleum products shipped in by tanker and wind and solar resources that are used to generate electricity.
  • Electricity use is increasing on Guam, and the island's sole power utility exceeded 50,000 customers for the first time in 2016.
  • The U.S. military accounts for one-fifth of the Guam Power Authority's electricity sales.
  • Guam's first commercial solar farm, the 25.6-megawatt Dandan facility, was completed in October 2015, and the U.S. Navy agreed in mid-2017 to lease sites where 40 megawatts of additional solar power will be installed.
  • Guam allows net metering, and an increasing number of customers are installing solar photovoltaic panels. As of early 2016, nearly 9 megawatts of distributed solar power was connected to Guam's grid.

Last Updated: September 21, 2017



Data

Last Update: November 16, 2017 | Next Update: December 21, 2017

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Economy  
Population and Industry Guam United States Period
Population 0.2 million 321.4 million 2015  
Gross Domestic Product NA $ 18,037 billion 2015  
Prices  
Electricity Guam United States Period
Residential NA 13.19 cents/kWh Aug-17  
Commercial NA 11.04 cents/kWh Aug-17  
Industrial NA 7.25 cents/kWh Aug-17  
Reserves  
Reserves Guam United States Period
Crude Oil 0 billion barrels 35 billion barrels 2016  
Natural Gas 0 trillion cu ft 308 trillion cu ft 2016  
Recoverable Coal 0 million short tons 258,619 million short tons 2014  
Capacity Guam United States Period
Crude Oil Refinery Capacity (as of Jan. 1) 0 barrels/calendar day 18,317,036 barrels/calendar day 2016  
Total Electricity Installed Capacity 1 million kW 1,075 million kW 2014  
Imports & Exports  
Total Imports Guam United States Period
Natural Gas Imports 0 billion cu ft 2,695 billion cu ft 2014  
Coal Imports 0 thousand short tons 11,350 thousand short tons 2014  
Total Exports Guam United States Period
Natural Gas Exports 0 billion cu ft 1,514 billion cu ft 2014  
Coal Exports 0 thousand short tons 97,257 thousand short tons 2014  
Supply  
Production Guam United States Period
Total Energy 0 trillion Btu 82,019 trillion Btu 2014  
Crude Oil 0 thousand barrels/day 8,875 thousand barrels/day 2016  
Natural Gas - Marketed 0 billion cu ft 29,475 billion cu ft 2014  
Coal 0 thousand short tons 1,000,049 thousand short tons 2014  
Total Utility-Scale Net Electricity Generation Guam United States Period
Total Net Electricity Generation 2 billion kWh 4,103 billion kWh 2014  
Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal Net Electricity Generation 2 billion kWh 2,751 billion kWh 2014  
Total Electricity Generation from Renewable Sources 0 billion kWh 562 billion kWh 2014  
    »  Hydroelectric 0 billion kWh 259 billion kWh 2014  
    »  Other Renewables 0 billion kWh 302 billion kWh 2014  
Consumption  
by Source Guam United States Period
Total Energy 27 trillion Btu 98,301 trillion Btu 2014  
Total Petroleum Products 15.0 thousand barrels/day 19,531.0 thousand barrels/day 2015  
    »  Motor Gasoline 0.8 thousand barrels/day 8,843.0 thousand barrels/day 2013  
    »  Distillate Fuel 3.0 thousand barrels/day 3,827.0 thousand barrels/day 2013  
    »  Liquefied Petroleum Gases 0.0 thousand barrels/day 2,448.0 thousand barrels/day 2013  
    »  Jet Fuel 2.7 thousand barrels/day 1,434.0 thousand barrels/day 2013  
    »  Kerosene * 5 thousand barrels/day 2013  
    »  Residual Fuel 5 thousand barrels/day 319 thousand barrels/day 2013  
    »  Other Petroleum Products 2 thousand barrels/day 2,037 thousand barrels/day 2013  
Natural Gas 0 billion cu ft 26,593 billion cu ft 2014  
Coal 0 thousand short tons 917,731 thousand short tons 2014  
Carbon Dioxide Emissions  
by Source Guam United States Period
Total Fossil Fuels 2 million metric tons 5,422 million metric tons 2014  
Petroleum 2 million metric tons 2,252 million metric tons 2014  
Natural Gas 0 million metric tons 1,451 million metric tons 2014  
Coal -- 1,719 million metric tons 2014  

Analysis

Last Updated: September 21, 2017

Overview

To meet its energy needs, Guam imports petroleum products and uses its wind and solar resources to generate electricity.

Guam, the largest island in Micronesia, is located in the Pacific Ocean about three-fourths of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. Guam has no fossil energy resources1 and meets nearly all of its energy needs, including electricity, with petroleum products2,3 shipped in by tanker.4 However, Guam has wind and solar energy resources used for electricity generation.5 Surrounded by coral reef, Guam sits on the edge of the Mariana Trench and its Challenger Deep, which at nearly 7 miles below the surface of the ocean is the deepest known place on earth. Guam, like the neighboring Mariana Islands, is the top of an undersea mountain, part of a volcanic subsea range stretching northwest toward Japan. At 30 miles long and 4 to 12 miles wide, Guam has nearly three-and-a-half times the land area of Washington, DC.6,7,8 Guam has a tropical marine climate that is warm and humid with little seasonal temperature variation. The dry season runs from December to June, and the rainy season runs from July to November. The wet season can bring destructive typhoons.9,10

Guam's population is estimated to be about 162,000,11 plus more than 12,000 military personnel and their families.12 Tourism and the U.S. military are the two biggest contributors to Guam's economy.13 U.S. military plans to move some personnel from Okinawa, Japan, to Joint Region Marianas on Guam could bring a substantial influx of people to the island.14,15 The military already accounts for more than one-fifth of Guam's energy consumption.16 Per capita energy consumption on Guam is about two-thirds the average in the 50 states,17,18 and the island's energy intensity—the amount of energy consumed per dollar of gross domestic product—is typically slightly higher than the average for the states.19,20

Petroleum

Guam has set a goal of cutting petroleum consumption by 20% from the 2010 level by 2020.

Guam has no petroleum production21 or refineries.22 All petroleum products are shipped in through its only port, located at Apra. Most petroleum products are imported from Japan.23 About half of all petroleum consumed is residual fuel oil, used to generate electricity. Motor gasoline and jet fuel each make up about one-fifth of total consumption. Diesel fuel and propane make up the balance of petroleum consumed.24 Guam's petroleum consumption per capita varies by year, but recently it has averaged nearly twice the consumption per capita in the 50 states.25,26 In 2012, the Guam government set a goal of cutting petroleum consumption 20% from 2010 levels by 2020.27 Since nearly one-third of petroleum use on-island (that is, not including aviation or shipping) in 2010 was in ground transportation, the government is aiming to increase the efficiency of vehicles on the island, improve traffic flows, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and increase use of biodiesel.28

Natural gas

Guam does not produce29 or consume natural gas.30 As part of its long-term integrated resource plan, the Guam Power Authority (GPA) seeks to replace or convert some older generators to burn liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of petroleum.31,32 In addition to diversifying GPA's energy sources, the plant conversions would enable the utility to comply with environmental requirements.33 GPA's regulator, the Guam Public Utilities Commission (PUC), has questioned the cost of infrastructure, such as storage, pipelines, and tanker terminals, that would be needed to supply LNG to GPA generating plants.34

Coal

Guam does not produce35 or consume coal.36

Electricity

In 2016, the number of Guam Power Authority’s customers exceeded 50,000 for the first time.

Electricity is provided by GPA, a public corporation overseen by the elected Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU) and regulated by the Guam PUC. GPA owns and manages the island's power grid, which is made up of more than 800 miles of transmission lines and distribution primary lines.37 GPA's electricity is generated mainly from residual fuel oil and diesel fuel.38 Some hotels also have their own generators to produce power and hot water.39

In the 1990s, GPA faced the need for major reinvestment in its baseload electricity generating facilities and began contracting with independent power providers (IPPs) to upgrade and operate the island's baseload power generators. GPA's baseload generating facilities are now managed by IPPs under long-term contracts.40

Two of the four generating units at Guam’s main power plant were destroyed by an explosion and fire in 2015.

An August 2015 explosion and fire at GPA's main Cabras power plant knocked out two of the station's four generating units.41 GPA lost about one-seventh of its nominal generating capacity, leaving the island with periodic power rationing and localized power outages. GPA asked large hotels, shopping malls, and military facilities to use their own generators when possible,42,43 and the power utility leased high-efficiency diesel generators to stabilize its electricity supply.44,45 GPA received approval from regulators to build a new power plant to replace all four of the Cabras generating units. The new power plant is expected to begin operating in 2022.46

In recent years, Guam's electricity costs, including fuel surcharges, have run two to three times higher than in the 50 states, although costs are still less than on many Pacific islands.47,48,49 Even with low world oil prices, GPA's most recent surcharge for fuel costs was about 12 cents per kilowatthour.50 The high cost of petroleum products for power generation spurred electricity conservation among Guam consumers that resulted in a downward trend in electricity consumption for several years.51,52 However, power use has picked up and GPA's customers surpassed 50,000 for the first time during 2016.53 The commercial sector, which includes hotels and restaurants serving tourists, is the largest electricity consuming sector and accounts for more than one-third of all electricity use.54 That sector includes hotels and restaurants serving tourists. The residential sector accounts for close to one-third of electricity use, and the U.S. military accounts for one-fifth.55 Faced with the volatile cost of importing petroleum fuels, GPA funds energy efficiency management programs and installs smart meters to improve system operations.56,57,58 Guam also offers net metering, and an increasing number of customers are installing their own distributed generation.59,60

Renewable energy

A major goal of Guam's economic development strategy is to substitute sustainable local energy resources for imported petroleum.61,62 Guam aims to reduce fossil fuel consumption in all sectors by 20% from the 2010 level by 2020.63 Multiple opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy applications are being implemented.64 In 2008, Guam's legislature enacted a renewable portfolio goal of having renewable sources provide 8% of net electricity sales by 2020 and 25% of sales by 2035. Under the goal, any new baseload electrical generating plant must obtain 10% of its total generating capacity from alternative energy sources. Solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass, wave energy, and ocean thermal energy are all recognized as acceptable renewable sources.65 GPA's updated integrated resource plan calls for the power utility to continue to pursue about 120 megawatts of power generation from renewable resources.66 Since 2000, Guam's building code has required new homes to be configured so that solar hot water heating can be installed.67 In addition, the two military bases on Guam have added solar PV arrays and solar water heaters to their living quarters.68,69

Wind turbines requires special engineering to cope with Guam’s earthquake and typhoons.

Until recently, little renewable energy was available on the island beyond a few solar PV units used for cell phone towers and remote weather stations, solar thermal units used for water heating, and a few small wind generators (less than 5 kilowatts capacity) operated by commercial and residential users.70,71 GPA released its Phase 1 renewables solicitation in 2011 and concluded contracts for 35 megawatts of solar and wind power.72 In 2015, Guam's first commercial solar PV facility, NRG Energy's 26-megawatt Dandan solar farm, began operating.73 The facility can generate enough electricity to serve 10,000 homes.74 The U.S. Navy agreed in mid-2017 to lease several sites to GPA for solar facilities that will support 40 megawatts of generation.75 Also in mid-2017, the CCU cleared the way for 120 megawatts in renewable electricity projects, which are expected to come online in three years. Those power projects will enable GPA to meet by 2021 Guam's renewable portfolio standard to have 25% of its electricity supplies comes from renewables by 2035.76 In order to maintain grid stability as it relies on more renewable electricity supplies, GPA is adding battery storage systems.77

Guam has substantial wind potential but also unique siting issues. The island is seismically active and is in the Pacific's Typhoon Alley, so wind turbines must be engineered to resist both earthquakes and typhoon-force winds. Wind turbine siting must also consider impacts on military facilities, endangered species, and other local environmental concerns. Another challenge is maintaining stability of the island's small electric grid given the variability of wind power.78 However, wind power remains part of Guam's long-term energy plan.79,80 In early 2016, GPA inaugurated a wind pilot project, a single 275-kilowatt turbine at the Cotal region of Yona81 that can generate enough power for 25 homes.82

Guam has limited known geothermal resources, but geothermal energy is considered a potential future resource.83 During GPA's Phase 2 renewables bidding in late 2016, one company proposed providing up to 10 megawatts of geothermal power.84

Two ocean-based technologies being investigated are Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (creating electricity from the temperature differences between ocean layers) and Sea Water Air Conditioning (using cold ocean water for chillers). Both technologies would involve pipes to access cold water deep in the ocean, and applications may be limited by pipe impacts on the fragile coral reef surrounding Guam.85,86

Endnotes

1 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Production, Guam, 2014.
2 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Consumption, Guam, 2014.
3 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Petroleum Consumption, Guam, 2015.
4 U.S. EIA, Petroleum & Other Liquids, Company Level Imports, monthly reports for 2015, 2016, 2017, see Guam.
5 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
6 Foster, Sophie, Guam, Encyclopedia Britannica, updated August 8, 2017.
7 Guampedia, Geography of Guam, accessed on August 8, 2017.
8 U.S. Census Bureau, State and County Quick Facts, District of Columbia, Geography, Land Area in Square Miles, 2010.
9 Foster, Sophie, Guam, Encyclopedia Britannica, updated August 8, 2017.
10 National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Tiyan, Guam, Guam Government Climate Information, accessed August 7, 2017.
11 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, July 2016 estimate, accessed August 11, 2017.
12 Military Installations, Joint Region Marianas-Naval Base Guam, Guam, accessed August 9, 2017.
13 Guam Economic Development Authority, Business, accessed August 17, 2017.
14 U.S. Department of the Navy, Guam and CNMI Military Relocation (2012 Roadmap Adjustments), Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, accessed August 16, 2017.
15 Sablan, Jerick, "Guam to See Jobs from Military Buildup," Pacific Daily News (October 22, 2015).
16 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 2.
17 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Consumption, Guam, United States, 2014.
18 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, July 2016 estimate, accessed August 11, 2017.
19 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Indicators, Energy Production, Guam, United States, 2014.
20 U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Analysis, "Gross Domestic Product for Guam Increases in 2015," Press Release (September 26, 2016).
21 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Petroleum, Production, Guam, 2016.
22 U.S. EIA, Refinery Capacity Report (June 21, 2017), Table 1, Number and Capacity of Operable Petroleum Refineries by PAD District and States as of January 1, 2017.
23 U.S. EIA, Petroleum & Other Liquids, Company Level Imports, monthly reports for 2015, 2016, 2017, see Guam.
24 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 6–8.
25 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, July 2016 estimate, accessed August 11, 2017.
26 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Petroleum Consumption, Guam, 2015.
27 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and Sean Esterly, Guam Strategic Energy Plan (July 2013), p. 3.
28 Johnson, Caley, Guam Transportation Petroleum-Use Reduction Plan, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A30-57191 (April 2013), Executive Summary and p. 1.
29 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Natural Gas, Production, Guam, 2014.
30 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Natural Gas, Consumption, Guam, 2014.
31 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
32 Sanchez, Simon, "Community Challenges Facing Utilities," Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, presentation to Guam Chamber of Commerce, General Membership Meeting (October 2013), slide 2.
33 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
34 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "PUC to GPA: Cut Cost," Pacific Daily News (October 30, 2015).
35 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Coal, Production, Guam, 2014.
36 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Coal, Consumption, Guam, 2014.
37 Guam Power Authority, About, Fact Sheet, accessed August 10, 2017.
38 Guam Power Authority, About, Fact Sheet, accessed August 10, 2017.
39 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 6.
40 Guam Power Authority, Operations, Generation, accessed August 10, 2017.
41 Borja, John, "Guam Power Authority on Long Road to Renewables," Pacific Daily News (May 14, 2017).
42 Guam Power Authority, "Island Wide Power System Update," Press Release (September 7, 2015).
43 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "Power Supply Vulnerable; More Outages Possible," Pacific Daily News (April 14, 2016).
44 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "PUC to GPA: Cut Cost," Pacific Daily News (October 30, 2015).
45 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "Rented Power Plant to Go on Line Soon," Pacific Daily News (December 20, 2015).
46 Borja, John, "Guam Power Authority on Long Road to Renewables," Pacific Daily News (May 14, 2017).
47 Sanchez, Simon, "Community Challenges Facing Utilities," Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, presentation to Guam Chamber of Commerce, General Membership Meeting (October 2013), slide 10.
48 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (issues of February 2017, 2016, 2015), Table 5.6.B.
49 Guam Power Authority, Residential Service Rate schedule, accessed August 17, 2017.
50 Guam Power Authority, Rate Schedules, accessed August 15, 2017.
51 Guam Power Authority, A Glance at Guam Power Authority (Fiscal Year 2011), p. 3.
52 Guam Public Utilities Commission, In the Matter of: The Application of the GPA for a Rate Design Alternative (August 28, 2014), p. 2.
53 Guam Power Authority, Deloitte & Touche Independent Auditor's Report, Years 2015 and 2016, p. 5.
54 Guam Power Authority, Deloitte & Touche Independent Auditor's Report, Years 2015 and 2016, p. 50.
55 Guam Power Authority, Deloitte & Touche Independent Auditor's Report, Years 2015 and 2016, p. 50.
56 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and J. Erik Ness, Guam Energy Action Plan (July 2013).
57 Petersen, Chris, "Guam Power Authority," accessed August 17, 2017.
58 Guam Power Authority, Smart Meter Rollout, Smart Meters on Guam Ready for the Field, accessed August 17, 2017.
59 Pampuro, Amanda, "Power to the People," Guam Business Magazine (July-August 2014).
60 Guam Power Authority, A Glance at Guam Power Authority (Fiscal Year 2013), p. 4.
61 Guam Economic Development Authority, Guam Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (2011), p. 36, 37.
62 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and J. Erik Ness, Guam Energy Action Plan (July 2013), p. 1.
63 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and Sean Esterly, Guam Strategic Energy Plan (July 2013), p. i.
64 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 25.
65 DSIRE, Guam-Renewable Energy Portfolio Goal, (May 6, 2015).
66 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
67 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 18.
68 "Joint Region Marianas," Green Energy Micronesia (March 2012), p 6.
69 Norton, Catherine Cruz, "Solar Power Saves Money, Bolsters Security in Guam," Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Marianas, Press Release (November 4, 2010).
70 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Renewables, Electricity Generation, Guam, 2007–12.
71 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 18.
72 Guam Power Authority, News, Issues and Information, Renewable Resource Acquisition, updated September 9, 2014.
73 Guam Power Authority, "NRG Renew Completes Guam's First On-Island Solar Facility," Press Release (October 7, 2015).
74 Guam Power Authority, 2015 Annual Report, p. 20.
75 Guam Power Authority, "GPA & U.S. Navy Enter into Land Lease for Renewable Energy Projects," Press Release (May 12, 2017).
76 Guam Power Authority, "CCU Approves Petition for Phase II Renewable Energy Projects," Press Release (June 7, 2017).
77 Guam Power Authority, "GPA to Enter into Energy Storage Contract," Press Release (May 11, 2017).
78 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 30, 31.
79 Guam Power Authority, Integrated Resource Plan, FY 2013 (February 22, 2013), p. 7-22.
80 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
81 Guam Power Authority, "Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Wind Turbine Project," Press Release (March 9, 2016).
82 Guam Power Authority, 2015 Annual Report, p. 20.
83 Guam Power Authority, Integrated Resource Plan, FY 2013 (February 22, 2013), Executive Summary.
84 O'Connor, John, "GPA: Solar, Geothermal energy on the table," The Guam Daily Post (November 25, 2016).
85 Guam Power Authority, Integrated Resource Plan, FY 2013 (February 22, 2013), p. 7-2.
86 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and Sean Esterly, Guam Strategic Energy Plan (July 2013), p. 14.


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