Hawaii Becomes the First State to Adopt 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard

On June 8, 2015, Governor David Ige signed a law increasing Hawaii’s renewable portfolio standard from 40% renewable energy in 2030 to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Hawaii is the first state in the United States to adopt a 100% renewable portfolio standard.

Key Details

  • Electric utilities must now meet the following renewable energy requirements:
    • 30% renewable electricity by 2020
    • 40% renewable electricity by 2030
    • 70% renewable electricity by 2040
    • 100% renewable electricity by 2045
  • Eligible resources include wind, solar, hydro, biogas, geothermal, tidal, biomass, biofuels, and hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources.
  • The Public Utilities Commission may grant exceptions to the requirement for reasons beyond the control of the electric utility; the new law adds the following to the list of exemptions:
    • “Inability to acquire sufficient renewable electrical energy to meet the renewable portfolio standard goals beyond 2030 in a manner that is beneficial to Hawaii’s economy in relation to the comparable fossil fuel resources.”
  • Hawaii currently produces about 21% of its electricity from renewable resources.

Implications

Hawaii just updated the picture on the “postcard from the future.” The image no longer shows a high penetration of renewables, but rather an electric system operating solely with renewable resources.

More Information

Pacific Business News: Governor Signs Bill Setting Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Goal at 100%

NY Times: A Green Future for Blue Hawaii, Maybe

DSIRE: Hawaii’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

This report is part of the Clean Tech & Sustainability Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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