Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Launched

Earlier this week U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner and Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy.  This agreement created the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership that is intended to make Hawaii a clean energy model for the United States.

The overarching purpose and key goals of this partnership are outlined in Section II of the MOU:

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to establish a long-term partnership between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that will result in a fundamental and sustained transformation in the way in which renewable energy efficiency resources are planned and used in the State. Successful development and execution of the objectives contemplated in this partnership will provide a replicable global model for achieving similar results.

The DOE-Hawaii Partnership will build upon the dynamic, ongoing work of public and private organizations at the State, county, and grassroots levels in order to achieve several key goals:

  • To define the structural transformation that will need to occur to transition the State to a clean energy dominated economy
  • To demonstrate and foster innovation in the use of clean energy technologies, financing methodologies, and enabling policies designed to accelerate social, economic and political acceptance of a clean energy dominated economy
  • To create opportunity at all levels of society that ensures wide-spread distribution of the benefits resulting from the transition to a clean, sustainable energy State
  • To establish an “open source” learning model for others seeking to achieve similar goals
  • To build the workforce with crosscutting skills to enable and support a clean energy economy.

Under the MOU, Hawaii will explore a variety of renewable energy technologies including solar, oceanic, geothermal, and wind. The state will also pioneer financial, policy, and business models that the DOE and the State of Hawaii hope can be replicated throughout the US.

Hawaii, which currently imports fossil fuels for 90% of its energy, is hoping to have renewable sources provide at least 70% of the state’s energy needs by 2030.

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