Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Solar, Wind, & Geothermal Help Hawaii Reach Renewable Goals Ahead Of Schedule

America’s most fossil fuel dependent state has made great strides since laying out a statewide sustainability plan known as Hawaii 2050. The state acknowledged its challenges: 90% of food imported, greater than 90% of energy derived from burning imported oil in large scale generators, and a solid waste challenge highlighted by extremely limited landfill space and a tourism-based economy that thrives on throwaway goods. To address the energy challenge, the state and its citizens have implemented a number of initiatives encouraging more renewables, including feed-in tariffs and strong incentives for solar hot water, solar PV, and electric vehicles.

Wind farm on the windward hills of Maui

Wind farm on the windward hills of Maui
Image Credit: Wind turbines above the coastline in Maui, Hawaii via Shutterstock

All good initiatives, but arguably the strongest factor is the cost of electricity. Hawaii has already passed grid parity for rooftop solar installations, and even small energy efficiency gains can help businesses and homeowners save thousands on utility costs. The investment landscape is strong enough to attract energy accelerators, and Hawaii has ranked in the top 2 or 3 states in solar for each of the last few years.

Signs of progress are clear: Hawaii has increased its geothermal capacity to 38 MW, and new wind power developments on Maui have brought that island’s total wind capacity to 72 MW. Oahu has a new wind farm on the north shore at Kawailoa (69 MW), and despite a bit of a stumble, the nearby 30 MW Kahuku wind farm is on schedule to be back at full capacity by year’s end.

Oahu has also increased the size of its waste-to-energy plant from 46 to 72 MW (I know what you’re thinking…but what else are we going to do with all that plastic trash that tourists use? This one’s admittedly a mixed bag at best, but I’m choosing to focus on the positive).

With a few utility-scale solar installations in the works and a new biofuel power plant in operation on Oahu, it’s clear here on the ground that it is full speed ahead on renewables.

We’ll achieve our 15% renewable energy goal by the end of 2013, two years ahead of schedule.

Want to learn more about island economies and sustainability? Learn by playing the sustainability game GBO Hawaii, invented and developed by yours truly, who lives and breathes sustainability in Hawaii (see bio below). 🙂

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is a serial eco-entrepreneur hellbent on making the world a better place for all its residents. After starting and selling two mission driven companies, Scott started a third and lost his shirt. After that, he bought a new shirt at Goodwill and started this media company and once it was making enough, he was just smart enough to hire someone smarter than him to run it. He then started Pono Home, a service that greens homes, which has, by the end of 2020, performed efficiency retrofits on more than 13,000 homes and small businesses, saving customers more than $3.3 million a year on their utilities. Previously, Scott was an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and Green Living Ideas.


You May Also Like


Co-living is not new, but it is experiencing a moment, as co-living facilities have sprouted up around the world in recent years. Co-living is...


KHON2 has a few concerns about Hawaii’s decision to outfit its State Department of Transportation (DOT) with a fleet of Teslas. The news station...


Transfer of Surplus Federal Land to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Could Provide Up To 400 New Homesteads for Native Hawaiian Families 

Climate Change

Scientists have developed an airborne imaging technology that will allow them to spot ailing coral reefs up to 70 feet underwater.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.