“The purpose of this Act is to update and extend Hawaii’s clean energy initiative and renewable portfolio standards to ensure maximum long-term benefit to Hawaii’s economy by setting a goal of one hundred per cent renewable by 2045.” Hawaii Act 97 (2015)
Earlier this month, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into law House Bill 623, which requires all of Hawaii’s electricity to be produced from renewable energy sources by 2045. This would decrease Hawaii’s dependence on imported fuels and grow the local renewable energy industry.
What will Hawaii look like in 30 years? Here’s my glimpse of a realistic renewable-energy future:
* Hawaii will offer a tax credit for individuals who purchase solar power storage units and backup generators.
* We will have compact, affordable batteries to store solar energy safely.
* We will be able to recharge “AA” and other portable batteries using a solar power converter.
* We will wear light-weight, UV absorbing clothing and hats that can also charge our electronic devices.
* Revised building codes will require solar panel roofs or rooftop gardens, rain catchment systems, and a minimum amount of recycled or salvaged materials used for construction. There will also be an aquaponics requirement for larger lots or tracts.
* There will be a revived “movement” to design homes that blend into Hawaii’s natural landscape. Note: The Inspiration Green website has some fantastic photos of “earth sheltered homes” that conserve rainwater, are energy-efficient, and keep homes cool during the warmer months.
* Businesses will develop solar panels that can capture solar energy on overcast and stormy days.
* Businesses will develop affordable and compact wind turbines with built-in energy storage.
* Businesses will compete to produce high-capacity solar energy batteries and back-up generators.
* Hawaii will offer tax incentives to renewable energy generation and storage companies that open a manufacturing plant in the state. This will reduce our dependence on imported renewable energy products, and create jobs in the state.
* Hawaii will expand ocean rights leases to build solar energy, wave, and wind farms in the Pacific Ocean. This will create jobs in the state.
* Hawaii will create a public-private partnership to build and maintain marine aircraft carriers – ships with full-length flight decks and boat docks/lifts – in the Pacific Ocean. They would also function as hospital ships, search and rescue bases, and research vessels. This will encourage the development and use of solar-powered airplanes and boats, and create jobs in the state.
On the roads…
* Hawaii will implement a car buy-back program, exchanging gasoline-powered vehicles for compact electric vehicles, bicycles and/or a one-time tax credit.
* Hawaii cities will covert half of the roads into bicycle lanes, heavily promote a bicycle-sharing service, and encourage the use of Pedicabs for personal and business use. Portions of downtown, business districts, and heavily congested areas with narrow streets will be closed to cars.
* There will be higher vehicle registration fees; and a new electric vehicle surcharge to offset the costs of building and maintaining roads and charging stations
* Gasoline stations will be converted into electric vehicle charging stations. Hawaii will offer a tax credit for installing charging stations in rural areas. Hawaii will encourage privately owned charging stations in remote areas to be available to the public (either subsidized or through user fees).
* The number of gasoline-powered vehicles imported into the state will be limited to emergency and military use.
In our public spaces…
* Parks, schools, and beaches will have solar panel shade structures over restrooms, playgrounds, and fitness stations.
* Hawaii will install solar-powered charging stations for electronics devices at public parks, beaches, schools, libraries, and bus stops.
* Staffed district parks will offer a recreational bike rental program, in partnership with local businesses or organizations.
* There will be a new “renewable” land zone category for solar panels and wind mills. Some conservation and preservation lands may need to be re-zoned.
Do you think we will reach our goal of 100% renewable energy sources? How do you think Hawaii will change as we commit to renewable energy?