The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) is a framework of statutes and regulations supported by a diverse group of stakeholders committed to Hawai‘i’s clean energy future. The initiative was launched in 2008 when the State of Hawai‘i and U.S. Department of Energy signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the reduction of Hawai‘i’s heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels. In 2008, the state estimated that 60 to 70 percent of future energy needs could be fulfilled by local, clean, renewable energy sources, including energy efficiency. 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 Hawai‘i’s commitment to setting bold clean energy goals, including achieving the nation’s first-ever 100 percent renewable portfolio standards (RPS) by the year 2045.

HRS section 196-10.5 Hawai‘i clean energy initiative program

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

Memorandum of Understanding Re-commitment, 2014 (PDF)

Hawaii Ocean

Hawaii Ocean


The goal of the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative is to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Through collaboration between thought leaders and committed groups and individuals, HCEI builds 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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i’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 Hawai‘i a world model for clean energy-based economies.
  • Build our workforce with new skills that will form the foundation of an energy-independent Hawai‘i.


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. Hawai‘i currently enjoys a robust clean energy industry. Innovation is accelerating at a rapid rate, which in turn stimulates our economic growth.


Hawai‘i celebrated a milestone on January 9, 2018, by marking the 10th anniversary of the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative. Since its launch, HCEI has proven to be an invaluable resource in advancing Hawai‘i’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 interest 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 Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative has been instrumental in Hawai‘i’s bold pursuit of a clean energy future that benefits all of the state’s residents. Built on 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