Hawaii's Journey to 100% Renewable Energy: Achieving the 2045 Goal

The Federal Energy Information Administration estimates that 77% of Hawaii's energy is sourced from burning fossil fuels, mainly oil and some coal. With the state's goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2045, Hawaii will need to shut down its oil and coal plants ahead of schedule. Public Services Commissioner Leo Asunción explains that the traditional profit formula of the sector would have incentivized the monopoly of the Hawaii utility company to do the opposite. He states that they would have wanted to keep their plants running as much as possible, as it is in their best interests. Another challenge Hawaii is studying is whether large, reliable energy storage systems will be available in time to store excess solar and wind energy at a reasonable cost.

According to Asunción, the monopoly company, Hawaiian Electric, has not had a clear incentive to quickly incorporate renewable energy from projects like this. He and his colleagues are restructuring more than a hundred years of regulatory precedent to get Hawaii's monopolistic company to use 100% renewable electricity. The report pointed to solutions to supply large amounts of fluctuating renewable energy to the six power grids that distribute electricity in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Department of Human Services, Benefits, Employment, Employment Support Services, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has released a study this week by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It provides a “preview of what states could do as the United States moves faster toward renewable energy than many experts expected.” When it comes to renewable electricity generation, Hawaii leads other states in nearly every category.

It gets 33 percent of its electricity from rooftop solar energy and has 60 utilities-scale renewable energy projects that supply energy to its grids. The state of Hawaii is making great strides towards achieving its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. With the help of innovative solutions and restructuring of regulatory precedent, Hawaii is well on its way to becoming a leader in renewable energy production. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is helping to make this goal a reality by providing resources and support for those who need it most.

Catherine Geml
Catherine Geml

Extreme bacon specialist. Proud food specialist. Freelance travel nerd. Lifelong web practitioner. Hipster-friendly food advocate. Freelance social media scholar.

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