“I am confident that we will achieve our energy goals. We have both the resources and the will. As an island people, we have long known that it is vital that we work collaboratively if we are to achieve any success. Our very existence is at stake. Failure is not an option. But think about the payoff of success — a secure energy future, increased capacity to grow more of our own food, a diverse array of jobs for our people. And perhaps most importantly, the confidence that, if we can solve this complex energy problem, there are no limits to what we can achieve together.”

- Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz

In his 2012 State of the State Address, Governor Neil Abercrombie announced that Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz would be the point person for coordinating Hawai‘i’s clean energy efforts.

There is no challenge more critical to Hawai‘i’s economic vitality than moving away from fossil fuel electricity and building a 21st century energy infrastructure. To combat this challenge, the State of Hawai‘i has implemented an aggressive clean energy policy with a flexible and future-minded regulatory framework, an ambitious renewable energy standard, and strong incentives for renewable energy production.

Lieutenant Governor Schatz has been active in leading this effort. He serves as a member of the steering committee for the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, and works closely on a day-to-day basis with Congressional staff, federal energy officials, the military, utilities, the Public Utilities Commission, the Hawai‘i State Energy Office, renewable energy developers and stakeholders in the current energy supply stream.

The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, a public-private partnership that helps to facilitate and coordinate efforts to secure Hawai‘i’s clean energy future, calls for Hawai‘i to reach 70% of our energy needs via renewable sources by 2030. Advancements in a full range of technologies is required to reach this goal — geothermal, wind, solar, biofuels, wave and OTEC, liquefied natural gas, and renewable hydrogen.

So far in 2012, Hawai‘i has seen more clean energy come into fruition than at any time in a generation. Highlights include:

  • Doubling of wind generated energy
  • Continued development of a modern grid system capable of handling unprecedented amounts of clean energy
  • New projects in geothermal energy
  • Investments in using Liquefied Natural Gas as an alternative to burning fuel oil for electricity
  • Advancements in energy conservation and efficiency
  • New and fruitful international partnerships that have lead to additional investments and projects (for additional details about the Lieutenant Governor’s efforts at securing international partnerships, check out Asia-Pacific Relations)

Taking Hawai‘i off of oil in a way that attempts to “bend the cost curve” downward is no small challenge. The high cost of oil is not going to reverse itself.  By taking advantage of our abundant natural resources and implementing advanced technologies,  Hawai‘i is moving toward a future based on clean, local sources of energy.

For more information on the State’s clean energy efforts, please visit the following sites:

Public Utilities Commission
Hawai‘i State Energy Office
Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative