The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is a network of private sector, non-profit, and government leaders committed to helping Hawaii reach its clean energy goals. By activating key players, it builds upon the ongoing work of public and private organizations to:
• Define the new infrastructure needed to move Hawaii to a clean energy economy.
• Foster and demonstrate innovation in the use of clean energy technologies, creative financing and public policy to accelerate our transition to clean energy.
• Create economic opportunity by developing and diversifying Hawaii’s economy so all of us
reap the benefits of a sustainable energy policy.
• Establish an “open source” learning model that supports other Island communities seeking to achieve similar goals while making Hawaii a world model for clean, energy-based economies.
• Build our workforce with new skills that will form the foundation of an energy-independent Hawaii.
What can I do to help Hawaii reach its renewable energy goals?
• Keep abreast of the latest happenings in the renewable energy scene by joining the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative mailing list at hawaiicleanenergyinitiative.org.
• Support renewable energy programs in your community such as Hawaiian Electric’s Sun Power for Schools. The educational program teaches students and the community about emerging renewable energy technologies, energy management tools and equipment that will help integrate renewable energy into a modern electric grid.
• Have a big-picture renewable energy idea? Check out elementalexcelerator.com. It helps companies improve systems that impact people’s lives, regarding energy, water, agriculture and transportation.
• We’ll get to our goal in 2045, or before! But until then, be sure to use energy wisely. Check out hawaiienergy.com for tips on how to be more energy efficient. And to get a free online home energy check, visit hawaiianelectric.com.
Community Solar on the horizon
What is community solar?
Officially known as Community-Based Renewable Energy, community solar is exactly what it sounds like — solar power that’s available to everyone in the community, rather than only homeowners. To participate, residents pay for a portion of a solar farm’s output and in return receive monthly credits on their electric bills.
Will the solar farm be close to my house?
The solar farms may or may not be built directly in a community or neighborhood. Varying in size and location, they are usually built by solar developers or other organizations, including churches, clubs and other associations.
How will I benefit from community solar?
You will have the opportunity to save money on your monthly electric bill by participating. You also won’t need to worry about having panels on your own roof; this eliminates dealing with building permits, installing a new roof— or even getting permission for installation.
When will community solar be available?
Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, Hawaii Electric Light, and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative submitted the final rules and procedures for approval to put community solar into the marketplace. Be on the lookout in the coming months; more information about how it will all work and how you can participate will be coming from these utility companies, as well as from developers and various subscriber organizations.
Increasing Island Resilience
In December 2016, the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency was established by Oahu voters and embedded in the City Charter. “The citizens of Oahu empowered this office to tackle climate change head-on, and my administration is committed to creating a greener and cleaner island community that is 100 percent renewable and resilient to the challenges that we all face together,” says Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
The first order of business for the new office is to create a resilience strategy for Oahu, including increased efficiency and sustainability policies within city government. In the first six months the office has presented its ideas at nearly 100 community meetings around Oahu and more than 1,500 residents have provided input. By early 2019, the office will finalize a strategy that tackles island vulnerabilities and addresses climate challenges.
“Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico was a wake-up call to how exposed we really are to climate impacts,” says Josh Stanbro, the office’s mayor-appointed executive director and chief resilience officer. “A lot of our work will focus on preparation and protecting our island from shocks and stresses that are on the horizon.”
Learn more at resilientoahu.org.
Green Hawaii was published as a supplement to Hawaii Home + Remodeling magazine's April 2018 issue. To find out more about how you can go green all year, visit our Green section.