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100% renewables by 2045 is now the law in Hawaii

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Hawaii law sets target of 100pc renewables by 2045


9 Jun 2015, 2.15 pm GMT

Washington, 9 June (Argus) — Hawaii's governor David Ige (D) signed legislation making the island state the first in the US to set a mandate for all electricity to come from renewable resources.

The governor signed HB 623, which requires electric utilities to supply 100pc of their sales with renewables by 2045. The new renewable portfolio standard includes interim targets of 30pc by 2020, 40pc by 2030 and 70pc by 2040. HB 623 replaces a previous standard that called for 15pc by 2015, 25pc by 2020 and 40pc by 3030. The bill takes effect on 1 July.

Ige said the move to local sources of energy will help the state's economy, which relies on about $5bn/yr in oil imports. Fuel oil provides about 70pc of the state's electricity, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

"Making the transition to renewable, indigenous resources for power generation will allow us to keep more of that money at home, thereby improving our economy, environment and energy security," he said.

Ige also signed SB 1050 to create a program for community-based renewable energy projects to give more residents and businesses the ability to access low-carbon energy. Community solar projects allow customers to buy a share of output from an off-site project, making it possible for tenants of apartment complexes and high-rise buildings, with little roof space, to access solar power.

The bill requires utilities to propose a tariff for the community projects to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission by 1 October. The tariff allows the utility to implement a billing system to compensate customers that participate in community projects that return excess power to the state's electric grid.

The governor also signed HB 1509, establishing a net-zero energy usage target for the University of Hawaii, a research center with 10 campuses across the state's six islands. The bill requires the university to produce as much energy as it uses by 1 January 2035. The university must use the 2014-15 fiscal year as its baseline for its energy use and report annually on its progress in cutting energy use below that level.

Ige also approved HB 1296, which directs the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies to promote hydrogen-based energy. The center's director must establish a working group and report to the state legislature with the group's findings and recommendations by 30 November.


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