For Immediate Release: January 28, 2008

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a long-term partnership designed to accelerate the transformation of Hawaii into one of the world’s first economies based primarily on clean energy resources.

The goal of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is to use renewable resources – such as wind, sun, ocean, geothermal, and bioenergy – to supply 70 percent or more of Hawaii’s energy needs by 2030. This will reduce the state’s dependence on imported oil and help bring energy price stability to Hawaii consumers.

“This innovative, unprecedented partnership builds on the progress the state has made to increase energy independence by decreasing Hawaii’s reliance on imported oil,” said Governor Lingle, who previewed the historic agreement last week in her State of the State Address. “Our islands’ abundant natural sources of energy, combined with the considerable capabilities of the Department of Energy will help Hawaii lead America in utilizing clean, renewable energy technologies.”

“Through this unique initiative, DOE is pleased to commit its technical and policy expertise and capabilities to help demonstrate reliable, affordable and clean energy technologies in Hawaii,” Assistant Secretary Karsner said. “With an abundance of natural resources and environmental treasures, Hawaii is the ideal location to showcase the broad benefits of renewable energy at work on an unprecedented scale. Hawaii’s success will serve as an integrated model and demonstration test bed for the United States and other island communities globally, many of which are just beginning the transition to a clean energy economy.”

The partnership will provide technical assistance and technology program support for a variety of innovative projects that draw on technologies developed through a range of DOE research and development programs. Efforts will focus on working with public and private partners on several clean energy projects throughout the state including:

Designing cost-effective approaches for 100 percent use of renewable energy on smaller islands.

Designing systems to improve stability of electrical grids operating with variable generating sources, such as wind power plants on the Island of Hawaii and Maui.

Integrating renewable energy, including solar, wind, energy storage and advanced vehicle technologies into existing systems to meet the islands’ energy needs.

Minimizing energy use while maximizing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at new large military housing developments.

Expanding Hawaii’s capability to use locally grown crops as byproducts for producing fuel and electricity.

Developing comprehensive energy regulatory and policy frameworks to promote clean energy technology use.

The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative will also tap the expertise of other federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Defense, national research laboratories, and research and development entities, as well as the private sector. The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative recognizes that, while DOE and the State are providing the leadership, ultimately all of Hawaii’s citizens will need to be involved to create real and lasting change.

“The Lingle-Aiona Administration is committed to leading by example,” said Theodore E. Liu, Director of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. “Hawaii is already a leader in energy policy. We are now stepping up to strengthen our energy program by providing funding for projects that will accelerate the transition to a clean energy-based future.”

In 2006, Energy for Tomorrow legislative measures were enacted to initiate a dramatic change in the state’s energy policy. In 2007, Hawaii became only the second state in the nation to establish a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. This partnership with the Department of Energy is building on Hawaii’s momentum and brings new resources into the state through this agreement.


For more information, contact:

Ted Liu
Director, DBEDT
Phone: (808) 586-2355

Lenny Klompus
Senior Advisor – Communications
Phone: (808) 586-7708

Russell Pang
Chief of Media Relations
Phone: (808) 586-0043