Maui News

Hawaiʻi First in Nation to Adopt 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard

May 6, 2015, 4:22 PM HST
* Updated May 6, 4:24 PM
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Rep. Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo) who introduced the bill. Courtesy photo.

Rep. Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo) who introduced the bill. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

A bill passed by the Legislature this week makes Hawaiʻi the first state in the nation to adopt a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard.

House Bill 623 mandates that Hawaiʻi utilities generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045.  The bill was introduced by Representative Chris Lee of Kailua in an effort to boost the state’s local energy industry and save ratepayers money.

Under the bill, the state’s renewable portfolio standard would undergo incremental increases of:

  • 30% by December 31, 2020;
  • 70% by December 31, 2040; and
  • 100% by December 31, 2045.

The state has been transitioning from a near-total dependence on imported fossil fuels, doubling its renewable energy production in the last decade. Currently, the state produces an estimated 21% of its power from renewable energy.

Windmills above Kaheawa on Maui. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Windmills above Kaheawa on Maui. File photo by Wendy Osher.

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“As the first state to move toward 100% renewable energy, Hawaiʻi is proving to the rest of the country that renewable energy can be cheaper, cleaner and can help consumers to cut their electric bills down to near-zero,” said Rep. Lee in a statement. “These big steps forward will accelerate the savings consumers are seeing around the state and will speed the growth of jobs in our local renewable energy industry.”

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He continued saying, “Local renewable projects are already cheaper than liquid natural gas and oil, and our progress toward meeting our renewable energy standards has already saved local residents hundreds of millions on their electric bills. Moving to 100% renewable energy will do more to reduce energy prices for local residents in the long term than almost anything else we could do.”

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