Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
The 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.
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, we 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 of HCEI, we have 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 many recognitions as a clean energy leader. As we move forward, we must continue to embrace innovative technologies and thoughtful decision-making.
Significantly, we’re already meeting many of our goals. 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.