100% Renewable Energy Bills Gain Momentum at Hawaii State Legislature

PRESS RELEASE FROM
March 10, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2015
Contact: Jeff Mikulina, 808-226-4987

HONOLULU—Two bills that designate a 100% renewable portfolio standard for Hawaii have progressed through the first stages of becoming law. On Tuesday, House Bill 623 and Senate Bill 715 both passed floor votes in their respective chambers and now cross over to the other chamber for consideration.

The passage of a 100% bill would give Hawaii the country's most aggressive renewable portfolio standards, mandating that 100% of the state's electricity generation comes from renewable energy sources. In the current version of HB 623, the deadline to meet the standard is 2045, and in SB 715, it is 2050. Blue Planet Foundation is advocating for 100% renewable generation by 2040, which was the year originally specified in both bills.

"The year 2030 is not the end of our energy road, so we must ensure that today's energy decisions are being made with the appropriate long-term considerations," said Blue Planet Executive Director Jeff Mikulina, referring to the state's existing target of 40% renewable generation by 2030. "This policy aligns today's energy decisions with tomorrow's energy system. It will ensure that the plans and investments we make now do not lock us into an inflexible energy paradigm that will persist long after 2030 passes."

The effectiveness of setting a target was cited by Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in its 2014 Report to the Legislature in its review of Hawaii's Renewable Portfolio Standards: “There is no doubt that Hawaii is further along the path to increased utilization of renewable and indigenous resources, reduction in use of imported petroleum fuels and diversifying its fuel portfolio due to the RPS in conjunction with Hawaii’s other energy policies and programs.”

The next year is pivotal in setting the course for how we power the islands in the future: The state is currently deliberating who will own the utility, the role of rooftop solar, expanded importation of other fossil fuels, and infrastructure planning decisions.

"By setting a 100% target today, we can create and implement solutions that will go the distance to achieve energy independence," Mikulina continued. "It is a critical next planning step that we must take now."

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About Blue Planet Foundation
Blue Planet Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to clearing the path for 100% clean energy: We inspire leaders to change the rules, and accelerate cost-effective, secure, renewable energy. We inspire communities to adopt smart, replicable energy solutions. We inspire everyone to believe in the power and possibility of a future beyond fossil fuels.