Hawaii is on track to being the first state to use 100% renewable energy. It has already been the leader in solar energy for years, which makes sense considering how much sunshine Hawaii receives and how expensive electricity is there. It’s also a leader in energy storage. Now that Hawaiian Electric Industries is in agreement with the 100% renewable energy plan, Hawaii is forging ahead!
Hawaii has been making a push toward renewable energy for quite a few years, especially solar energy due to its affordable cost. It’s estimated that currently over half of the homes in Hawaii have solar panels in place to capture a lot, or even a little, energy from the sun. Solar energy use is expected to double in the coming years, which will also increase the demand for installation and energy storage.
This month, the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission accepted Hawaiian Electric’s plan to use 100% renewable energy by 2040. Hawaiian Electric’s original plan was to use 100% renewables by 2045, but that plan was rejected.
Hawaiian Electric is also planning to double their grid’s supply of renewable energy from 25% to over 50% in 5 years. There is also expected to be 165,000 private storage facilities by 2030. These facilities will be used as a backup energy source for homes, as well as, the grid.
Currently, Tesla is building up solar capacity and storage on Kauai. While Kauai is not part of Hawaiian Electric’s domain, it is still forging ahead with using renewable energy. AES Corporation is also planning to build a solar farm and storage on Kauai.
With a president who promised to revive the coal and fossil fuel industries and has called renewable energy technology, “an expensive way of making the tree-huggers feel good about themselves,” it’s difficult to tell how far renewable energy will spread in the coming years. But, if Hawaii’s plan to utilize 50% renewable energy in 5 years works, then other states will have a good example to follow.
It is a fact that fossil fuels won’t last forever. Right now, gas and oil companies. and our government, spend billions of dollars per year in researching and developing new fossil fuel technologies. Just think how quickly we could switch to 100% renewable energy in the United States if that money was spent on renewable energy technologies!