Hawaii Aiming for 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2045
We already know how dedicated Hawaii is to clean energy. Solar energy is thriving! In fact, so many people want solar that many have had to wait for solar companies to catch up to them. Now, it’s doubling down on renewable energy sources in a tremendous way. Recently, Hawaii’s Legislature approved more than 100 bills, including a bill that requires Hawaii to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. This means that all electricity provided by the electric companies will have to come from renewable sources like solar and wind. If it becomes law, it would make Hawaii the first state in the U.S. to commit to a 100 percent renewable energy goal.
Meeting Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Goal
According to Civil Beat, approximately 22 percent of the state’s energy came from renewable sources last year. While getting to 100 percent renewable is going to take some time, Hawaii is already well on its way. “It’s going to save everybody money, it’s going to put less carbon in the air, it’s going to boost jobs in our local energy industry,” said Rep. Chris Lee.
In addition to overall energy goals, the Legislature also passed a bill to make the University of Hawaii system the first in the nation with a goal of being 100 percent renewable, plus generating all their own power by 2035.
“We’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal,” said State Senator Mike Gabbard to ThinkProgress. “Through this process of transformation we can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.”
Why Hawaii Can Do It
Of all the states, Hawaii has the most solar already. One out of every eight homes in Hawaii has solar, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that nearly 10 percent of the state’s electricity comes from solar. The state is ranked 9th nationally in terms of solar electric capacity, and there is currently enough solar energy to power 110,000 homes. Between this much solar and geothermal energy sources, it doesn’t seem that far off that Hawaii could meet the goal of this ambitious potential law.
Given that the island state’s exponentially increasing electricity prices spurred on this much change, it might be safe to say that Hawaii’s limitations have bred creative solutions. While many wait for solar power to filter into their homes, Hawaiian solar and utility companies are struggling to figure out where to store all the energy being created via rooftop solar and more. It’s a problem to be sure, but a great problem to have, since it means there’s a plethora of solar — and with all that solar, there has to be a way
What do you think of Hawaii’s solar growth? What other states would you like to see take giant steps towards building solar energy? Tell us in the comments!
Image Credit: Hakilon via Wikimedia under a Creative Commons license