Hawaii is showing the rest of the States how to go green.
Last month, Hawaiian lawmakers passed legislation on House Bill 623 (in a 74-2 vote) requiring the state to produce 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. And on June 8th, Governor David Ige signed into law four energy bills. One of those was HB 623
. According to the bill, it’s purpose is to “update and extend Hawaii’s clean energy initiative and renewable portfolio standards to ensure maximum long-term benefit to Hawaii’s economy by setting a goal of one hundred per cent renewable by 2045; provided that extending the renewable portfolio standard goals and transition to energy independence beyond 2030 shall be undertaken in a manner that benefits Hawaii’s economy and all electric customers, maintains customer affordability, and does not induce renewable energy developers to artificially increase the price of renewable energy in Hawaii. This target will ensure that Hawaii moves beyond its dependence on imported fuels and continues to grow a local renewable energy industry.”
State Senator Mike Gabbard (D) told ThinkProgress
, “We’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal. Through this process of transformation we can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.”
Hawaii already has the highest percentage of solar electricity being used in the nation. 1 in 8 homes utilize solar power, and approximately 10% of the state’s electricity also uses solar power. Another 25% of Hawaii’s electricity comes from geothermal sources.
A reason for the increased use of renewable energy in Hawaii might have something to do with their high electricity prices. Gabbard says Hawaii gets most of its electricity from oil-fired power plants, and all the oil is imported. Electricity there can cost three times as much as the national average.
Reaching their goal of being the first state to completely transition to renewable energy is ambitious and it will certainly take time. HB 623 updated their previous version of the RPS, which had a goal of 40 percent renewable energy production by 2030, to the new phased-in plan shown here:
|Renewable energy as a % of net electricity sales
||Required by this date
Governor Ige said, “As the most oil dependent state in the nation, Hawai‘i spends roughly $5 billion a year on foreign oil to meet its energy needs. Making the transition to renewable, indigenous resources for power generation will allow us to keep more of that money at home, thereby improving our economy, environment and energy security,”
Written by Raven Fon