Hawaii lawmakers voted 74-2 this week to pass the nation's first state-wide requirement for 100 percent renewable energy generation. House Bill (HB) 623 mandates that the entirety of the state’s energy portfolios must be generated using renewable energy resources no later than 2045.
As reported by eSolarEnergyNews, Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director of the Blue Planet Foundation said, "Hawaii lawmakers made history passing this legislation--not only for the islands, but for the planet. Passage of this measure is a historic step towards a fossil fuel-free Hawaii. This visionary policy is 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."
"Local renewable projects are already cheaper than liquid natural gas and oil,” said Chris Lee, Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee and introducer of HB 623. “Our progress toward meeting our renewable energy standards has already saved local residents hundreds of millions on their electric bills. Moving to 100 percent renewable energy will do more to reduce energy prices for local residents in the long term than almost anything else we could do."
Senator Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, said, "With this bill, we'll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal. Through this process of transformation, Hawaii can be the model that other states, and even nations, follow. And we'll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy."
House Bill 623 also increases interim requirements for renewable energy to 30 percent by 2020. Last year, Hawaii generated about 22 percent of its electricity from renewable resources.
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