In a symbolic first for a U.S. state, lawmakers in Hawaii passed legislation last week, by a 74-2 vote, requiring the state to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy.
Yet it won't hit the target until 2045, meaning that despite rapid advances in solar technology and wind power, the island will essentially fit the trend. It's good PR to sign such a bill yet actually is just where things are headed.
By 2045 solar will be absolutely everywhere, with the cost of panels many orders cheaper than they are today. So while its nice Hawaii is making headlines in the right direction, the timing shows no real commitment to the environment.
HB 623, if signed into law by Governor David Ige, would make Hawaii the first U.S. state to attempt complete decarbonization. Hawaii’s energy mix is currently more than 80 percent fossil fuel, with oil providing the majority of electricity generation on the islands.
“As the first state to move toward 100 percent renewable energy, Hawaii is raising the bar for the rest of the country,” said Chris Lee, the Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee “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.”