If you are to set a goal for the production of renewable energy, why not make it 100% of total production? This is exactly what Hawaii did this week by enacting a law imposing requirements for electric utilities to supply the state with 100% renewable energy by 2045. Hawaii is already a leader in clean energy with 22% of their electricity production coming from wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy resources. The new policy, Act 97, would require electric utility to produce 30% of their energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade and 100% within 30 years.
The legislation would be the first of its kind, which is by law establishing an “expiration date on fossil fuel use”. The bill imposes penalties to Hawaii electric utilities if they fail to achieve the new standards. As much as two cents of penalty for each kilowatt hour of excess fossil fuel electricity could be imposed.
The Blue Planet Foundation drafted the legislation and led a “grassroots campaign” to pass the bill. Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director of the Blue Planet Foundation, on the passing of the act :
“Hawaii is making history, not only for the islands, but for the planet. We are making a promise to future generations that their lives will be powered not by climate-changing fossil fuel, but by clean, local, and sustainable sources of energy.”
Even though Hawaii is already a leader in renewable energies, some electric utilities have made it difficult for their customers to connect solar installations to the grid. Most utilities have embraced solar energy, but some seem to have a problem with the distributed model of customers producing their own energy.
This law should help the transition long term.