State senator proposes updating Hawaii's energy goal to 100 percent renewable by 2040

Pacific Business News - January 27, 2015
By: 
Duane Shimogawa

State Sen. Mike Gabbard wants to update and extend Hawaii's transition to clean energy to 100 percent renewable by 2040.

The current Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative has a goal of 40 percent renewable by 2030.

Gabbard, D-Kapolei-Makakilo-Ewa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, has introduced Senate Bill 715, which sets the new target. It is among several proposals to change the current goal. Hawaiian Electric Co.'s energy plan, which it submitted to Hawaii regulators last year, set a goal of 65 percent renewable by 2030.

Jim Robo, chairman and CEO of Florida-based NextEra Energy, which is seeking to buy HECO for $4.3 billion, previously told PBN that he supports the 65 percent renewable goal.
At last year's Asia-Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit and Expo in Honolulu, Hermina Morita, then chairwoman of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, said that while there have been attempts to achieve the goal of 100 percent renewable in the coming decades, the state must be cautious.

"We have to make a statute that's achievable [and] cost-effective," she said during a panel discussion, adding that "100 percent is certainly aspirational."
Mark Glick, administrator of the state Energy Office, previously told PBN that he is confident that the state can surpass its current 40 percent goal.