Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a bill that sets the state’s renewable energy goal at 100% by 2045. In other words, in 30 years, Hawaii should be running only on electricity made by renewable energy — presumably a mix of solar, wind, and geothermal power. To put a slightly finer point on it, that means no fossil fuels!
“This [Legislative] Session has been a terrific one as far as advancing Hawaii’s efforts to continue to be at the forefront of this nation and our committment to end importing fossil fuels and really being committed to a 100 percent renewable future in the electricity sector,” explained Governor Ige.
Currently, Hawaii produces about 21% of its electricity from renewable energy and depends upon fossil fuels which are imported. The cost of electricity is high there, so switching to renewables will not only be better for the environment, it will most likely reduce the cost of electricity for residents and business owners quite a bit. Once fossil fuels are eliminated, the cost of electricity will no longer be connected to fluctuating oil prices.
“This isn’t just about getting off of fossil fuels. It’s as much about that as is saving money for the average consumer here in a place where we expend millions of dollars importing fossil fuels every year and the faster we can get off of that, the faster we can save money and boost our economy,” said State Rep. Chris Lee, D-Kailua-Waimanalo.
It was just about a month ago that the legislation to set such an ambitious goal was passed, but the governor still needed to sign it. It makes excellent sense for Hawaii to eventually become completely energy independent, both economically and environmentally.
Also, energy storage technologies appear poised to grow in parallel with the expansion of renewable energy. Obviously, these two industries complement each other very well, so a state that generates all its electricity from renewables would benefit greatly from the ability to store it.
The expanding EV trend is also a piece of the puzzle. Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, and in Hawaii they will eventually be charged with clean energy only. Will it be the first 100% renewable energy state in the US?
Image Credit: Arjunkrsen, Wiki Commons