Guam Territory Energy Profile



Guam Quick Facts

  • Guam, with no conventional energy resources, relies largely on petroleum products shipped in by tanker, as well as local wind and solar resources used to generate electricity.
  • Electricity use is increasing on Guam, and the island's sole power utility exceeded 51,000 customers for the first time in 2017.
  • The U.S. military accounts for one-fifth of the Guam's electricity consumption.
  • With the addition of about 120 megawatts of new solar generation expected by 2021, Guam expects to reach its 2035 goal to generate 25% of its electricity from renewables by 2021.
  • In Guam, about 40% of the petroleum consumed is jet fuel, 30% is unleaded gasoline, 20% is diesel oil, and the remaining 10% is premium gasoline and propane.

Last Updated: October 18, 2018



Data

Last Update: October 18, 2018 | Next Update: November 15, 2018

+ EXPAND ALL
Economy  
Population and Industry Guam United States Period
Population 0.2 million 325.7 million 2017  
Gross Domestic Product $ 6 billion $ 18,121 billion 2015  
Prices  
Electricity Guam United States Period
Residential NA 13.12 cents/kWh Jul-18  
Commercial NA 10.98 cents/kWh Jul-18  
Industrial NA 7.34 cents/kWh Jul-18  
Reserves  
Reserves Guam United States Period
Crude Oil 0 billion barrels NA 2018  
Natural Gas 0 trillion cu ft 322 trillion cu ft 2017  
Recoverable Coal 0 million short tons 254,896 million short tons 2015  
Capacity Guam United States Period
Total Electricity Installed Capacity 1 million kW 1,064 million kW 2015  
Imports & Exports  
Total Imports Guam United States Period
Natural Gas Imports 0 billion cu ft 2,718 billion cu ft 2015  
Coal Imports 0 thousand short tons 11,318 thousand short tons 2015  
Total Exports Guam United States Period
Natural Gas Exports 0 billion cu ft 1,784 billion cu ft 2015  
Coal Exports 0 thousand short tons 73,958 thousand short tons 2015  
Supply  
Production Guam United States Period
Total Energy 0 trillion Btu 84 trillion Btu 2015  
Crude Oil, NGPL, and Other Liquids 0 thousand barrels/day 14,461 thousand barrels/day 2017  
Natural Gas - Gross 0 billion cu ft 32,915 billion cu ft 2015  
Coal 0 thousand short tons 896,941 thousand short tons 2015  
Total Utility-Scale Net Electricity Generation Guam United States Period
Total Net Electricity Generation 2 billion kWh 4,092 billion kWh 2015  
Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Coal Net Electricity Generation 2 billion kWh 2,727 billion kWh 2015  
Total Electricity Generation from Renewable Sources 0 billion kWh 572 billion kWh 2015  
    »  Hydroelectric 0 billion kWh 249 billion kWh 2015  
    »  Other Renewables 0 billion kWh 323 billion kWh 2015  
Consumption  
by Source Guam United States Period
Total Energy * 93 trillion Btu 2015  
Total Petroleum Products 15.0 thousand barrels/day 19,687.0 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Motor Gasoline 1.0 thousand barrels/day 9,317.0 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Distillate Fuel 3.0 thousand barrels/day 3,877.0 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Liquefied Petroleum Gases 0.0 thousand barrels/day 1,340.0 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Jet Fuel 3.2 thousand barrels/day 1,614.0 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Kerosene 0 thousand barrels/day 9 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Residual Fuel 6 thousand barrels/day 326 thousand barrels/day 2016  
    »  Other Petroleum Products 2 thousand barrels/day 3,204 thousand barrels/day 2016  
Natural Gas 0 billion cu ft 27,244 billion cu ft 2015  
Coal 0 thousand short tons 798,115 thousand short tons 2015  
Carbon Dioxide Emissions  
by Source Guam United States Period
Total Fossil Fuels 2 million metric tons 5,269 million metric tons 2015  
Petroleum 2 million metric tons 2,295 million metric tons 2015  
Natural Gas 0 million metric tons 1,488 million metric tons 2015  
Coal 0 million metric tons 1,485 million metric tons 2015  

Analysis

Last Updated: October 18, 2018

Overview

Guam, the largest island in Micronesia, is located in the Pacific Ocean about three-fourths of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines.1,2 The island has been a U.S. territory since 1898, and it is close to the International Date Line. As a result, it is the first to see each new day in the United States, which is why Guam is known as the place "Where America's Day Begins."3 Surrounded by coral reefs, 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.4,5,6 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 devastating typhoons.7,8

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

Guam's population is estimated to be about 167,000,9 plus more than 12,000 military personnel and their families.10 Tourism and the U.S. military are the two largest contributors to Guam's economy.11 U.S. military plans to move some personnel from Okinawa, Japan, to Joint Region Marianas on Guam during the 2020s could bring a substantial influx of people to the island.12,13,14 Currently, the military accounts for more than one-fifth of Guam's energy consumption.15 Per capita energy consumption on Guam is about two-thirds the average in the 50 U.S. states,16,17 and the island's energy intensity—the amount of energy consumed per dollar of gross domestic product—is about one-fifth higher than the average for the states.18,19 Guam has no fossil energy resources20 and meets nearly all of its energy needs, including the fuel for most of its electricity generation, with petroleum products21,22 that are shipped in by tanker. However, Guam has wind and solar resource potential for electricity generation.23

Petroleum

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

Guam has no crude oil reserves, petroleum production, or refineries.24,25 All petroleum products are shipped through the island's only port, located at Apra.26 Most petroleum products are imported from Asian countries.27 About 40% of the petroleum consumed on the island is jet fuel, while unleaded gasoline makes up about 30%, and diesel oil-used mostly to generate electricity-accounts for 20%. Premium motor gasoline and propane make up the balance of the island's petroleum consumed.28,29 In 2012, the Guam government set a goal to reduce petroleum consumption 20% from 2010 levels by 2020.30 Because ground transportation uses a large portion of the petroleum, Guam wants to increase the efficiency of vehicles on the island, improve traffic flows, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and increase use of biodiesel.31

Electricity

Electricity is provided by the Guam Power Authority (GPA), a public corporation overseen by the elected Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU) and regulated by the Guam Public Utilities Commission (PUC). GPA owns and manages the island's electric grid, which is made up of more than 800 miles of transmission lines and distribution primary lines. GPA's electricity is generated mainly from residual fuel oil and diesel fuel, with renewables accounting for a small share of the island's electricity generation.32

In the 1990s, GPA faced the need for major reinvestment in its baseload electricity generating facilities and contracted independent power providers (IPPs) to upgrade and operate the island's power generators. GPA's baseload generating facilities are now managed by IPPs under long-term contracts.33

An August 2015 explosion and fire at GPA's main Cabras power plant destroyed two of the station's four generating units.34 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,35 and the power utility leased high-efficiency diesel generators to stabilize its electricity supply.36,37 GPA received approval from regulators to build a new power plant to replace all four of the Cabras generating units, which had a combined generating capacity of 212 megawatts. The new power plant, which will have a generating capacity of 180 megawatts, is expected to begin operating in 2022. New solar power generation will also help offset the loss of the Cabras plant.38,39

In 2017, the Guam Power Authority exceeded 51,000 customers for the first time.

In recent years, Guam's electricity costs, including fuel surcharges, have run two to three times higher than in the 50 U.S. states, although costs are still less than on many Pacific islands.40,41,42 Because Guam's electricity is generated primarily by burning petroleum, GPA imposes a fuel surcharge that is adjusted about every six months to reflect changes in petroleum costs.43,44 GPA surpassed 51,000 customers for the first time in 2017.45 The utility offers net metering, paying its customers for the surplus power they generate from small-scale solar, wind, and other renewable distributed generation installations. The surplus power is distributed on the grid.46 GPA recently proposed changes to the net metering program that would reduce the amount paid back to customers for extra distributed generation.47 The commercial sector, which includes tourist hotels and restaurants, is the largest electricity consuming sector and accounts for more than one-third of the island's electricity use. The residential sector accounts for almost one-third of electricity use, the U.S. military accounts for one-fifth, and the Guam government consumes about one-tenth.48

Renewable energy

A major goal of Guam's economic development strategy is replace imported petroleum with local renewable energy resources.49,50 Guam aims to reduce petroleum consumption in all sectors by 20% from the 2010 level by 2020.51 Currently, there are multiple energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in progress.52 In 2008, Guam's legislature enacted a renewable energy portfolio goal to have renewable sources provide 8% of net electricity sales by 2020 and increase to 25% by 2035. Under the goal, any new baseload electrical generating plant must obtain 10% of its total generating capacity from renewable energy sources. Solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass, wave energy, and ocean thermal energy are all recognized as acceptable renewable sources.53 Guam's building code requires new homes to be configured so that solar hot water heating can be installed.54 In addition, the two military bases on Guam have added solar PV arrays to power their living quarters.55

With the addition of solar power generation, Guam projects it will reach its 2035 renewable goal in 2021.

Until recently, little renewable energy was available on the island beyond a small number of 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.56,57 In 2015, Guam's first commercial solar PV facility, NRG Energy's 26-megawatt Dandan solar farm with more than 120,000 solar panels, began operating.58 The facility can generate enough electricity to serve 10,000 homes.59 In August 2018, GPA signed contracts with two companies to each provide an additional 60 megawatts of solar power generating capacity. Both projects are expected to come online by 2021 and will provide enough electricity for an estimated 24,000 homes. Combined, the three solar power projects are expected to enable GPA to meet Guam's renewable energy portfolio goal of having 25% of its electricity supplies comes from renewables by 2021 instead of 2035.60,61 GPA is adding battery storage systems in order to maintain grid stability as it relies on more renewable electricity generation.62,63

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.64 However, wind power remains part of Guam's long-term energy plan.65,66 In early 2016, GPA inaugurated a wind pilot project, a single 275-kilowatt turbine at the Cotal region of Yona that can generate enough power for 50 homes.67 In 2018, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress that would authorize wind energy development off the coasts of all five U.S. territories. Under the legislation, the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management would lease offshore tracts, where feasible, to energy companies for building wind turbines.68

Guam has limited known geothermal resources, but geothermal energy is considered a potential future resource.69 During GPA's second phase of bidding for renewables in late 2016, one company proposed providing up to 10 megawatts of geothermal power.70

Natural gas

Guam does not produce71 or use natural gas.72 GPA plans to build a new power plant by 2021 that would burn ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel or natural gas to generate electricity.73,74 The new plant would enable the utility to comply with environmental requirements.75

Coal

Guam does not produce76 or use coal.77

Endnotes

1 Foster, Sophie, and Dirk Anthony Ballendorf, Guam, Encyclopedia Britannica, updated September 19, 2018.
2 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, Geography, Location, accessed September 24, 2018.
3 Guam Economic Development Authority, About Guam, accessed September 24, 2018.
4 Foster, Sophie, and Dirk Anthony Ballendorf, Guam, Encyclopedia Britannica, updated September 19, 2018.
5 Guampedia, Geography of Guam, accessed September 6, 2018.
6 U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, District of Columbia, Geography, Land Area in Square Miles, 2010.
7 Foster, Sophie, and Dirk Anthony Ballendorf, Guam, Encyclopedia Britannica, updated September 5, 2018.
8 National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Tiyan, Guam, Guam Government Climate Information, accessed September 6, 2018.
9 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, People and Society, Population, July 2017 estimate, accessed September 6, 2018.
10 Military Installations, Joint Region Marianas-Naval Base Guam, Guam, Population Served, accessed September 6, 2018.
11 Guam Economic Development Authority, Business, accessed September 6, 2018.
12 U.S. Department of the Navy, Guam and CNMI Military Relocation (2012 Roadmap Adjustments), Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, accessed September 6, 2018.
13 Limitiaco, Steve "NAVFAC: Buildup spending, construction, will peak in 2022," Pacific Daily News (February 22, 2018).
14 Kyodo, "U.S. to start moving Okinawa-based marines to Guam in 2024," The Japan Times (April 27, 2017).
15 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 2.
16 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Consumption, Guam, United States, 2015.
17 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, People and Society, Population, Country Comparison to the World, July 2017 estimate.
18 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Consumption, Guam, United States, 2015.
19 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, Economy, GDP, Country Comparison to the World, July 2016 estimate.
20 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Production, Coal, Natural Gas, Petroleum and Other Liquids, Guam, 2015.
21 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Primary Energy Consumption, Guam, 2015.
22 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Electricity Net Generation, Guam, 2015.
23 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
24 U.S. EIA, Guam Profile Data, Reserves, 2018, and Supply, 2017.
25 U.S. EIA, Refinery Capacity Report (June 25, 2018), Table 1, Number and Capacity of Operable Petroleum Refineries by PAD District and States as of January 1, 2018.
26 Port of Guam, About US, About PAG, accessed September 17, 2018.
27 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, Economy, Imports-Commodities and Imports-Partners, 2017.
28 Guam Energy Office, Fiscal Year 2017 Citizens Centric Report (August 2018), 2017 Consolidated Report of Actual Fuel Sales By Petroleum Companies, p. 3.
29 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Guam, Energy, Electricity from fossil fuels, 2015 estimate.
30 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and Sean Esterly, Guam Strategic Energy Plan (July 2013), p. 3.
31 Johnson, Caley, Guam Transportation Petroleum-Use Reduction Plan, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A30-57191 (April 2013), Executive Summary and p. 1.
32 Guam Power Authority, About, Fact Sheet, accessed September 23, 2018.
33 Guam Power Authority, Operations, Generation, accessed September 23, 2018.
34 Borja, John, "Guam Power Authority on Long Road to Renewables," Pacific Daily News (May 14, 2017).
35 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "Power Supply Vulnerable; More Outages Possible," Pacific Daily News (April 14, 2016).
36 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "PUC to GPA: Cut Cost," Pacific Daily News (October 30, 2015).
37 Daleno, Gaynor Dumat-ol, "Rented Power Plant to Go on Line Soon," Pacific Daily News (December 20, 2015).
38 Borja, John, "Guam Power Authority on Long Road to Renewables," Pacific Daily News (May 14, 2017).
39 Guam Power Authority, Generation, Mix Table, accessed October 10, 2018.
40 Guam Power Authority, Rates, Regional Comparison, accessed September 23, 2018.
41 U.S. EIA, Electric Power Monthly (issues of February 2018, 2017, 2016), Table 5.6.B.
42 Guam Power Authority, Residential Service Rate schedule, accessed September 23, 2018.
43 O'Connor, John, "GPA holds off on hike," The Guam Daily Post (June 6, 2018).
44 Guam Power Authority, Rates, Rate Schedules, Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause as of August 1, 2017.
45 Guam Power Authority, Deloitte & Touche Independent Auditor's Report, Years 2017 and 2016, p. 6.
46 DSIRE, NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Guam-Net Metering (updated February 12, 2016).
47 O'Connor, John "Solar provider seeks answers ahead of net metering changes," The Guam Daily Post (September 16, 2018).
48 Guam Power Authority, Deloitte & Touche Independent Auditor's Report, Years 2017 and 2016, p. 59.
49 Guam Economic Development Authority, Guam Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (2011), p. 36, 37.
50 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and J. Erik Ness, Guam Energy Action Plan (July 2013), p. 1.
51 Conrad, Misty Dawn, and Sean Esterly, Guam Strategic Energy Plan (July 2013), p. i.
52 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 25.
53 DSIRE, NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Guam-Renewable Energy Portfolio Goal (updated May 6, 2015).
54 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 18.
55 Norton, Catherine Cruz, "Solar Power Saves Money, Bolsters Security in Guam," Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Marianas, Press Release (November 4, 2010).
56 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Total Renewable Electricity Net Generation, Guam, 2007-15.
57 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 18.
58 "NRG Renew Completes Guam's First On-Island Solar Facility," The Weekly Junction (October 12, 2015).
59 Guam Power Authority, 2015 Annual Report, p. 20.
60 Guam Power Authority, "GPA to sign contracts for renewable energy projects," Press Release (August 20, 2018).
61 Guam Power Authority, "Approved projects are win-win," Insights (March 2018), p. 1.
62 Borja, John "GPA to award contract for energy storage system," Pacific Daily News (May 11, 2017).
63 Guam Power Authority, "40 MW battery storage project to come on-line in August 2018," Insights (April 2018), p. 1.
64 Baring-Gould, Ian, et al., Guam Initial Technical Assessment Report, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-7A40-50580 (April 2011), p. 30, 31.
65 Guam Power Authority, Integrated Resource Plan, FY 2013 (February 22, 2013), p. 7-22.
66 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
67 O'Connor, John "Wind turbine unveiled," The Guam Daily Post (March 12, 2016).
68 Offshore Wind for Territories Act, Extensions of Remarks, Congressional Record (August 10, 2018) p. E1137.
69 Guam Power Authority, Integrated Resource Plan, FY 2013 (February 22, 2013), Executive Summary.
70 O'Connor, John, "GPA: Solar, geothermal energy on the table," The Guam Daily Post (November 25, 2016).
71 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Gross Natural Gas Production, Guam, 2015.
72 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Dry Natural Gas Consumption, Guam, 2015.
73 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
74 O'Connor, John, "GPA trims list of new power plant bidders," The Guam Daily Post (May 24, 2018).
75 Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities, Resolution on Updated Integrated Resource Plan (May 24, 2016).
76 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Primary Coal Production, Guam, 2016.
77 U.S. EIA, International Energy Statistics, Primary Coal Consumption, Guam, 2016.


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