Hawaii First in the Nation to Set 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Jun 8, 2015

Representative Chris Lee (left) and Senator Mike Gabbard (right) do a fist bump following a bill signing ceremony by Governor David Ige on four energy-related measures.
Credit Wayne Yoshioka

The Governor signed four energy-related bills into law today, establishing the state as a leader in renewable sources for power.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  

Hawai’i is now the first state in the nation to adopt a 100 percent renewable energy requirement for electricity generation by 2045. Governor David Ige signed the measure into law and said it raises the renewable percentage levels for all utilities going forward.

House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee Chair Chris Lee introduced the measure. Lee said setting a 100% renewable goal was a necessary step to reduce electricity costs for consumers.

The Blue Planet Foundation has been working for 8 years to wean Hawai’i off its reliance on fossil fuels.   Blue Planet founder Henk Rogers says there’s much work to be done.

Governor Ige also signed into law a community-based renewable energy program to allow renters and those without rooftop systems to purchase electricity generated at off-site facilities.  Senator Mike Gabbard chaired the Transportation and Energy Committee last session and co-authored the bill.

The Governor also signed into law a measure that sets a net-zero energy goal for the University of Hawai’i system by 2035, and another bill that designates a state hydrogen implementation coordinator.   Representative Jarrett Keohokalole, a freshman lawmaker in his first year, introduced the measure for hydrogen vehicles.

According to the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism: Hawai’i is the most oil-dependent state in the nation, importing about $5 billion worth of foreign oil each year to meet its energy needs.