With “going green” being the most popular trend in environmental activism these days, it’s no wonder that nations around the world are doing their best to adapt to the growing concerns of their people and are attempting to find new and improved renewable energy sources to power the world. Hawaii has stepped their renewable energy game up a notch, however, and has passed a legislation that will have the state 100 percent renewable by 2045.
Though Hawaii is not the first to try their hand at renewable energy — in 2014 Germany’s renewable energy sources accounted for 26 percent of the country’s energy supply, while Denmark set a world record for wind power production, with nearly 40 percent of its energy coming from turbines — they’re certainly the most ambitious.
Ambitious, yes, but not impossible.
At present, 22 percent of Hawaii’s energy grid comes from green sources. 10 percent of the total comes from solar energy generated by panels the state installed on one in every eight houses, with another large part coming from geothermal programs made possible by the myriad of active volcanoes dotting Hawaii’s islands. According to Clean Technica, Hawaii plans to make the jump to 100 percent renewable in three spurts. The state aims to be 30 percent renewable by 2020, 70 percent renewable by 2040, and ultimately 100 percent by 2045.
David Ige, Governor of Hawaii, has until May 15 to reject or pass the legislation — called House Bill 623 — or it will automatically become law. According to state senator Mike Gabbard, however, in an email sent to ThinkProgress, he believes Ige will pass HB623.
“We’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal. Through this process of transformation we can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.”
One of the many reasons for Hawaii’s enterprising move to be 100 percent renewable in the next 30 years is due in part to the rising energy costs of non-renewable fossil fuels currently used to power the majority of the Aloha State’s grid. Oil-fired power plants give Hawaii 90 percent of its electricity at the moment, and the oil must be imported, which leads to electricity costs that are three times as much as the national average.
Hawaii hopes to lead the way in going green, and perhaps one day soon, the rest of world will be as close to 100 percent renewable as possible, and we’ll no longer have to worry about what our selfish use of non-renewable resources will do to the environment for future generations.
[Image Credits: Header – H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images, Body – ThinkProgress]