You don’t need another reason to visit Hawaii—its islands are the very definition of paradise—but here’s one: It could become the first state to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources.
That’s the goal of new legislation that sets a 2040 target for 100 percent renewable energy in Hawaii. It’s already cruising toward a current target of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.
“The legislature finds that Hawaii’s dependency on imported fuel drains our economy of billions of dollars each year,” the bill says. “A stronger local economy depends on a transition away from imported fuels and toward renewable local resources that provide a secure source of affordable energy.”
Both houses of Hawaii’s state legislature passed the bill.
“The benefits of renewable energy to Hawaii are clear,” reports EcoWatch. “While it has to import virtually all of its fuel and hence has among the highest electricity prices in the country, it has an ample supply of sun and wind, as well as sources of geothermal and hydropower.”
The bill’s senate sponsor and chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, State Senator Mike Gabbard, told Think Progress, “Even our utility is saying we can hit 65 percent by 2030, so 100 percent is definitely doable. This is huge for our state’s future. Each year, we spend $3 to $5 billion importing fossil fuels to power our economy. Our electricity bills are roughly three times the national average.”
Meeting Hawaii’s pro-renewable political climate is NextEra Energy, a Florida-based power company acquiring the power grids on the islands. NextEra Energy is known for building solar and wind power facilities.
Already in the last six years, Hawaii has increased its use of renewable energy resources by 12 percent, with more than 21 percent coming from renewables. It’s already exceeded its 2015 target of 15 percent. And so it seems, even paradise can be improved upon.
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