Hawaii Aspires To Become First US State Using 100% Renewable Energy

By @hyaluronidase on
IN PHOTO: The sun rises behind windmills at a wind farm in Palm Springs, California, February 9, 2011. California aims to slow climate change by putting a price on carbon -- a low, low starting price. The program is the last, keystone step in a controversial half-decade push to green the state?s business for the good of the planet and the economy. Picture taken February 9, 2011. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Hawaii is now working on a list of strategies as it aims to become the first U.S. state to run on 100 percent renewable energy. The state legislature passed a bill last week stating that the state’s primary source of electricity by 2045 will be coming from renewables.

Around 93 percent of the state’s electricity is imported. According to State Energy Office Administer Mark Glick, the approval of the bill will be an important step toward reducing Hawaii’s reliance on imported fuels. Hawaii’s residential power rates are considered among the most expensive in the country, as reported in the Scientific American.

The 2045 target may face certain challenges according to Anthony Kuh, director of the Renewable Energy Island Sustainability Group based in University of Hawaii at Manoa. However, the targets are achievable with improvements on energy storage and smart grid technologies.

One out of eight homes in Hawaii uses solar power and according to the Solar Energy Industries Association or SEIA, as reported in ThinkProgress, Hawaii gets 10 percent of its electricity from solar power. The federal Energy Information Agency also states that a quarter of Hawaii’s power come from geothermal energy.

State governor David Ige has until June to sign the bill. If approved, the bill should propel Hawaii’s climate goals farther than any nation and support the state’s Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to reduce the dependency for fossil fuel -- the state’s current source of electricity.

The Clean Energy Initiative is collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii launched in 2008. The initiative believes that continuous fuel imports will threaten the “most precious resources” found in the state and place the security of the economy at risk. The main goal of the program is to bring together policymakers, business organisations,and residents to lead Hawaii out of fuel dependence and maximise the state’s abundant renewable energy resources.

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