In a 74 – 2 vote, the Hawaii legislature passed a bill this month setting the goal of becoming completely fossil fuel free by December 31, 2045. The move to become independent of fossil fuels is an effort to make electricity more affordable, while simultaneously increasing jobs through the renewable energy sectors. Proponents of this bill are hoping that this will strengthen the local economy, as the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuels has become very costly. The state imports 93 percent of its energy, and the state’s energy bill is 175 percent higher than the U.S. average.

Currently, 22 percent of Hawaii’s power generation comes in the form of renewable energy—primarily wind and solar—while oil dominates nonrenewable power generation. The bill proposes that the state become 30 percent renewable by December 31, 2020, and 70 percent renewable by December 31, 2040, before ultimately becoming 100 percent renewable by 2045.

According to Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative, the state hopes to become 100 percent renewable by marshalling a full complement of renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, hydrogen fuel cells, and ocean wave and tidal energy. Hawaii is now waiting for the state’s governor, David Ige, to sign the bill.


Author: Sharmen Hettipola