Hawaii and U.S. Department of Energy Reaffirm Commitment to Clean Energy Initiative

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 in News

Hawaii State Energy Office
For Immediate Release: September 15, 2014

HONOLULU—The State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy have agreed to continued cooperation as Hawaii embarks on the next phase of its clean energy future.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, reaffirming their commitment to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a long-term partnership to increase energy efficiencies and maximize the use the use of Hawaii’s abundant renewable energy resources.

“We remain focused on reducing the state’s dependence on imported oil while also creating high-wage jobs and economic opportunities for the people of Hawaii,” Abercrombie said. “Together with the federal government, we are creating a new framework that will take our state to the next level in its clean energy transformation.”

Moniz announced his signing of the MOU during a pre-recorded address to the opening session of the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit & Expo being held at the Hawaii Convention Center.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that by setting ambitious clean energy goals, the UnitedStates can support local industries while also moving towards a low carbon future,” Moniz said. “These types of collaborative efforts are an important component of the President’s Climate Action Plan, which will help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening the clean energy economy in Hawaii and nationwide,” he said.

“Renewing the commitment to Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is an important step at this point in our energy transition plan.” said Richard Lim, director of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. “In light of our success so far*, we want to position Hawaii as a test bed for clean energy solutions.”

The MOU calls for the U.S. DOE to provide technical assistance and other resources to the state. The state’s commitments under the MOU include developing the technical, workforce and academic tools necessary to realize the purpose of the agreement.

Mark Glick, Hawaii State Energy Office Administrator, said updating the MOU will allow policymakers to take a fresh look at parts of the HCEI that need to be strengthened.

“To really push the envelope we’re going to have to take a hard look at reducing petroleum use in the transportation sector, which is two-thirds of Hawaii’s energy mix,” he said. “This includes the use of alternative fuels in ground and marine transportation, including natural gas and hydrogen.”

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The Hawaii State Energy Office is leading the state’s charge toward clean energy independence. With a goal to meet and exceed Hawaii’s 70 percent clean energy targets by 2030, the State Energy Office is committed to developing and deploying high impact solutions that will maximize Hawaii’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, the State Energy Office has positioned Hawaii as a leading proving ground for clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth. The State Energy Office is a division of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov.

*Hawaii reached an important milestone last year, generating 18% of its electricity from renewable resources. That puts the state ahead of its interim 2015 target of 15%, and provides a jumpstart on reaching the 2020 goal of 25%. Combined with a 15.7 % reduction in energy use through conservation and efficiency, the state is nearly halfway toward it 2030 goal of 70 percent clean energy.

Media Contact:
Alan Yonan Jr.
Communications Officer
DBEDT State Energy Office
(808) 587-3860