Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative

Hawaii Powered logoThe Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) is a framework of statutes and regulations supported by a diverse group of stakeholders committed to Hawaii’s clean energy future. The initiative was launched in 2008 when the State of Hawaii and U.S. Department of Energy signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the reduction of Hawaii’s heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels. In 2008, the state estimated that 60-70 percent of future energy needs could be fulfilled by local, clean, renewable energy sources. To turn that vision into reality, HCEI is transforming the financial, regulatory, legal, and institutional systems that govern energy planning and delivery within the state. The initiative has grown stronger over the course of three gubernatorial administrations. In 2014, HCEI renewed Hawaii’s commitment to setting bold clean energy goals that include achieving the nation’s first-ever 100 percent renewable portfolio standards (RPS) by the year 2045.

HRS section 196-10.5 Hawaii clean energy initiative program

Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy, 2008 (PDF)

Memorandum of Understanding Re-commitment, 2014 (PDF)

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045.  By collaborating with thought leaders and committed groups and individuals, HCEI will build upon the dynamic, ongoing work of public and private organizations at the national, state, and county levels to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Define the new infrastructure needed to move Hawaii to a clean energy economy.
  • Foster and demonstrate innovation in the use of clean energy technologies, creative financing, and public policy to accelerate our transition to clean energy.
  • Create economic opportunity by developing and diversifying Hawaii’s economy so all of us reap the benefits of a sustainable energy policy.
  • Establish an “open source” learning model that supports other island communities seeking to achieve similar goals and makes Hawaii a world model for clean energy-based economies.
  • Build our workforce with new skills that will form the foundation of an energy-independent Hawaii.

Progress to Date

Since the foundation, HCEI has implemented many of the foundational policies and innovative solutions needed to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, maximize our diverse portfolio of natural resources, and create employment and investment opportunities throughout the islands.  Our state has earned recognition as a clean energy leader and must continue to embrace innovative technologies and thoughtful decision-making.

Significantly, many goals have been achieved. Hawaii currently enjoys a robust clean energy industry. Innovation is accelerating at a rapid rate, which in turn stimulates our economic growth. For example, the state is making exciting headway in the clean transportation sector. Presently, there are 12,716 EVs on Hawaii’s roads supported by 286 public electric vehicle charging stations. In renewable energy deployment, we’re investing in smart infrastructure and exploring next generation technologies. By harnessing power from resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, ocean, biomass and biofuels, Hawaii reached an important new milestone, generating a record 29.8% of our energy from renewable resources in 2019.

Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Marks 10-Year Anniversary

Hawaii celebrated a milestone on January 9, 2018 by marking the 10th anniversary of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Since its launch, HCEI has proven to be an invaluable resource in advancing Hawaii’s ongoing effort to achieve energy self-sufficiency.

An event held at Washington Place brought together a wide range of energy stakeholders, including representatives from government, energy companies, non-profits, and special interests groups. Participants recognized the contributions of HCEI, which is widely recognized for establishing the most aggressive clean energy goals in the nation.

“For the past 10 years the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative has been instrumental in Hawaii’s bold pursuit of a clean energy future that benefits all of the state’s residents. Built of the foundation of our invaluable relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy and other key stakeholders, HCEI will continue to serve as a guiding force as we face the challenges of transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy future.”

– Gov. David Ige


Celebrating 10 Years of Success pamphlet