Ambitious renewables goals for Hawaii: 70% by 2030

January 29, 2008

Environment News Service: Rich in sun and wind, Hawaii is on track to become one of the world’s first economies based on clean energy resources under a long-term agreement signed today by representatives of the state and federal governments. The agreement sets a goal of using renewable resources such as wind, sun, ocean, geothermal, and bioenergy to supply 70 percent or more of Hawaii’s energy needs by 2030.

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and Alexander Karsner, U.S. Department of Energy, DOE, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The goal is to reduce the state’s dependence on imported oil and help bring energy price stability to Hawaii consumers. Hawaii gas prices are the highest in the nation. AAA and the Oil Price Information Service say the national average is $2.98 a gallon. In Hawaii, it’s $3.50 a gallon, up 56 cents from a year ago.

Another goal of the initiative is to curb climate change. In 2007, Hawaii became the second state in the nation, after California, to establish a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. “This innovative, unprecedented partnership builds on the progress the state has made to increase energy independence by decreasing Hawaii’s reliance on imported oil,” said Governor Lingle, who previewed the historic agreement last week in her State of the State Address.

Photo of Hawaii’s Kaena Point by Eric Guinther