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Do Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiatives Make The Grade?

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

When it comes to clean energy use, Hawai‘i is in a bit of a rut. That’s according to the Blue Planet Foundation, who released their 4th annual energy report card. HPR’s Molly Solomon explains.

The nonprofit gave the Aloha State a grade of a B-minus, the same as last year. The report card presents a big picture assessment of Hawaii’s progress toward 100 percent clean energy. It focuses on five categories, including transportation, efficiency, economics, renewables, and smart grid.

“The big story this year is stagnation,” said Jeff Mikulina, Blue Planet Foundation’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately we’re giving the same grade this year, which is a B- overall. Over the past year — due to stalled renewable energy projects, a strangulation of the solar industry, poor performance of moving our transportation away from fossil fuel — it’s been two steps forward and two steps back.”

Blue Planet Foundation
Credit Blue Planet Foundation

The report card shows the state performed the worst in transportation, which received a grade of a D- and accounts for almost two-thirds of the state’s fossil fuel consumption. But Mikulina says the foundation’s energy report is more than just a reality check.

“It’s not just looking at the grade or the snapshot, but also putting out the outlook and opportunities in each of these sectors,” said Mikulina. “How can we improve our grade next year? What are the pieces we need in place to really make the right decisions today so we can have the energy future tomorrow that we are all seeking.”

That future includes bold energy goals, like meeting the state’s mandate for 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon joined HPR in May 2012 as an intern for the morning talk show The Conversation. She has since worn a variety of hats around the station, doing everything from board operator to producer.
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