The Hawaiian legislature just passed a new bill to set a goal to get 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources in the state by 2045. The goals leading up to that figure are 30% by 2020 and 70% by 2040. Currently, Hawaii generates about 22% of its electricity from renewables.
“Local renewable projects are already cheaper than liquid natural gas and oil, and our progress toward meeting our renewable energy standards has already saved local residents hundreds of millions on their electric bills. Moving to 100% renewable energy will do more to reduce energy prices for local residents in the long term than almost anything else we could do,” explained Rep. Chris Lee. His point about the lower cost of clean energy is a very important one. It seems many people — if not most — don’t realize that renewable energy is often now more affordable than energy from fossil fuels.
“Passage of this measure is a historic step towards a fossil fuel free Hawaii. This visionary policy is a promise to future generations that their lives will be powered not by climate-changing fossil fuel, but by clean, local, and sustainable sources of energy,” said Jeff Mikulina, director of the Blue Planet Foundation.
The governor, David Ige, still needs to sign the legislation to make it active. If it is any indication at all, the legislature passed the bill with virtually no resistance, so Ige should be on board too. He was also an electrical engineer, so he must be familiar with the technology, and he is a Democrat. At least on the surface, these facts appear to make it likely that is he is on the side of renewable energy.
“Hawaii can be a bright spot—a story of hope for environmental stewardship around the world, Our islands will be some of the first to be deeply affected by climate change, and we have an opportunity today to take the lead for the nation. Together, we will chart a course for a more sustainable Hawaii and a more sustainable Island Earth,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
If Hawaii can generate all of is electricity from renewable energy, surely it will be an example that extends beyond its local area.
Of course, if Hawaii can switch over to 100% electric vehicles by 2045 as well, it can really go the way of 100% renewable energy.