Hawaii's Governor Linda Lingle said on Wednesday that her state has signed an agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to establish the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a long-term partnership to accelerate the transformation of Hawaii into a "world model" for clean energy economy.
"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 at her opening remarks at the Major Economies Meeting for Energy Security and Climate change.
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, according to a statement released by the Hawaii's government.
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, and expanding Hawaii's capability to use locally grown crops as byproducts for producing fuel and electricity.
"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," said Theodore E. Liu, Director of Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.
In 2006, Energy for Tomorrow legislative measures were enacted to initiate a dramatic change in the state's energy policy. In 2007, Hawaii became the second state in the United States to establish a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.