For Immediate Release: January 9, 2018
HONOLULU — Hawaii celebrated a milestone today by marking the 10th anniversary of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI).
Since its launch a decade ago, HCEI has proven to be an invaluable resource in advancing Hawaii’s ongoing effort to achieve energy self-sufficiency.
Today’s 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,” said Gov. David Ige. “Built of the foundation of our invaluable relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) 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,” Ige said.
HCEI traces its roots to a 2008 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the State of Hawaii and the USDOE. The overarching goal of this unprecedented collaboration was to transform the energy foundation of Hawaii’s entire economy to clean energy, using Hawaii’s indigenous renewable energy resources. The State of Hawaii and the USDOE reaffirmed their commitment to Hawaii’s clean energy future in an updated MOU signed in 2014. A critical component of the MOU is the technical assistance provided to Hawaii by the USDOE through its network of national labs.
“Hawaii is a leader in the global energy transformation, and NREL is proud to contribute to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative’s success,” said Martin Keller, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
HCEI has provided the impetus for a host of statues and regulations aimed at reducing Hawaii’s dependency on fossil fuels, including historic Act 97, which made Hawaii the first state to set a target of generating 100 percent of its electricity sales from renewable resources. At the heart of HCEI is the diverse group of stakeholders who have joined together to deliver Hawaii’s clean energy future. Thanks to this broad based support from this stakeholder alliance HCEI has grown stronger during the course of three gubernatorial administrations and five biennial legislative sessions.
“On the 10-year anniversary of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, it’s important to reflect on how this pioneering effort has established Hawaii as a leader in energy policy and deployment of energy efficiency measures and renewable generation,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. “As the state’s blueprint for energy transformation and independence, HCEI is helping stimulate economic growth in an innovation economy by elevating Hawaii’s job growth prospects and business opportunities.”
Hawaii has made significant progress in its clean energy transformation since the launch of HCEI. Renewable energy now accounts for about 27 percent of utility electricity sales, and carbon emissions from power plants are down by more than 750,000 metric tons. In addition, the state is ahead of its interim target for reducing energy demand through efficiency and conservation measures. Clean energy also has become an important source of job growth in Hawaii, with 5,100 people employed in energy efficiency and 4,900 in the solar industry, according to a recent report from the USDOE.
About the Hawaii State Energy Office
The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is a division of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. With the state’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, HSEO is leading the state’s charge toward clean energy independence. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high impact solutions that will maximize Hawaii’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO has positioned Hawaii port as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth.
For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov.
Alan Yonan Jr.
DBEDT State Energy Office