Electricity on the island state of Hawaii will come 100% from renewable resources by 2045, pursuant to new legislation. The plan will end Hawaii’s current reliance on imported fuel oil which Governor Ige has said currently costs $5 billion annually.
Wind, solar, geothermal and storage technology and distribution improvements will all play important roles. Hawaii currently produces approximately 21% of its power from renewable energy sources. Interim benchmarks call for 30% renewable energy by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2040.
Perhaps the most important impact from setting this ambitious goal will be the new orientation it provides to all homeowners, businesses, developers, utilities and regulators. Decisions large and small over the coming years will all be made with the knowledge of where Hawaii is headed. Long a high cost state for electricity, the new goal does not include any promises to reduce electric costs. But the legislation’s champions clearly believe that re-directing the current spending on imported oil toward renewable solutions will create good results for the state.
A companion bill allows community solar developments in Hawaii for the first time.