The Hawaiian Legislature passed a bill this week setting a goal for the state of reaching 100% renewable power by 2045. If approved by Governor David Ige, Hawaii will be the first state to officially aim for generating all of its electricity from renewable resources. New York and California have had longer standing initiatives to reduce emissions by 2050 below 80% of the levels from 1990, but no bill to date is as ambitious as Hawaii’s.
A powerful motus for the bill beyond sustainability, is the need for Hawaii to reduce its dependence on expensive, imported oil. Currently, 93% of all of Hawaii’s energy is imported. This imposes a massive financial burden on residents who pay 175% of the U.S. average, the highest in the nation, for residential electric power rates.
“This is a significant step in our effort toward reducing Hawaii’s dependence on expensive imported oil and putting the state on the path toward greater energy, environmental and economic security,” Mark Glick, Hawaii State Energy Office administrator, said.
Under the state’s Clean Energy Initiative, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind, ocean and tidal action, hydrogen fuel cells, and biomass sources all constitute “clean energy” sources. In fact, Hawaii has the largest electricity generator powered only by biofuels in the world. Reaching 100% will be a challenge but is not entirely unfeasible.
Ige has until June to approve the bill.