Hawaii may go 100pc renewables by 2040

Source: By Argus Media • Posted: Monday, March 9, 2015

Washington, 6 March (Argus) — Committees in the Hawaii legislature this week voted to advance companion bills that would ramp up the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 100pc by 2040.

Committees in House and Senate recommended that the bills pass with amendments. In the House, the Finance Committee recommended the measure by a 15-0 vote and the Senate Commerce and Consumer protection committee passed the measure 4-0, with three senators not voting.

Senate bill 715 and House bill 623 would raise Hawaii’s RPS goals to 70pc by 2030 and 100pc by 2040. The existing RPS is scheduled to climb to 40pc by 2030.

House Energy and Environment Committee chairman Chris Lee and his Senate counterpart, Mike Gabbard, both Democrats, are primary sponsors of the bills.

Nearly all of Hawaii’s fuel is imported, given its remote location and limited local fossil-fuel resources. Its electricity prices are the highest of the US states by more than 10¢/kWh. The state has “excellent” wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydropower and ocean energy resources, the American Council on Renewable Energy says. The US Department of Energy has a partnership with the state to transform the island’s fuel mix to reach 70pc “clean” energy by 2030.