Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a package of bills that will move the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The bills also require the University of Hawaii to be at net zero emissions ten years earlier by 2035.
Earlier this year, Fort Collins, Colorado announced its plan to be a carbon neutral city by 2050. Elsewhere other municipalities like Austin, Texas are pushing for solar to be a more significant part of its energy mix. At the state level, efforts have been more mixed and are usually focused on specific projects like Virginia’s recent offshore wind turbine program.
Hawaii already has a 21 percent renewables energy mix in its state energy portfolio, but the new laws will make the state the first in the nation to move to a 100 percent renewable energy standard. Hawaii’s previous goal was to hit 40 percent renewables by 2040 – the new laws indicate a rather significant shift inside the statehouse.
Under the terms of another bill included in the package the state will also establish a hydrogen energy working group. Communities in Hawaii will also be allowed to start building community based renewable energy programs with local utilities.