GOOD

Hawaiian Lawmakers Say “Aloha” to 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2045

Hawaii’s plans to go all-green mean it’s one state down, fourty-nine to go.

image via (cc) flickr user asheshwor

The green energy revolution is in full swing. Look around and you’ll see entire cities—and even countries—committing themselves to renewable power in the coming decades. Advances in wind, solar, and even wave power technology have inspired communities to explore the process of weaning themselves off fossil fuels in favor of more ecologically sound sources of energy. And while the renewable power industry (or, industries, as the case may be) is still very much in flux as a whole, the continued momentum toward the adoption of green tech has moved the dream of environmentally friendly energy policy away from “wishful fantasy,” and well towards “plausible inevitability.”


Jumping to the fore of the green energy movement is Hawaii, where recently passed legislation has set the ball rolling for that state to become the first in the country to run on 100 percent renewable energy. The bill, HB632, states:

The legislature finds that Hawaii's dependency on imported fuel drains the State's economy of billions of dollars each year. A stronger local economy depends on a transition away from imported fuels and toward renewable local resources that provide a secure source of affordable energy.

The bill goes on to explain that it is, in essence, an update to Hawaii’s existing Clean Energy Initiative. That program was tasked with reducing the state’s current dependence on imported oil, for which Hawaii reportedly pays 175 percent above the national average. It has proven so successful that Hawaii reportedly garners 23 percent of its current electricity from clean energy sources like wind and solar power—well above the 2015 target of 15 percent, and ahead of schedule for plans to be 40 percent renewable energy reliant by the year 2030.

Bolstered by their Clean Energy Initiative’s unexpected success, Hawaiian legislators have set the ambitious goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. To do so, their bill sets out a series of green energy benchmarks for all electrical utility vendors in the state: “30 percent by December 31, 2020, 70 percent by December 31, 2040, and 100 percent by December 31, 2045.” As Inhabitat reports, the state has turned to solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, as well as geothermal and biomass electricity, in order to reach their aspirational, eco-friendly goal.

image via (cc) via flickr user wolframburner

Which isn’t to say that Hawaii’s plans to be the first state in the country to go totally green are in any way a done deal. Anthony Kuh, who serves as the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability Group director explains to Scientific American, “We don’t probably have the technology today to do everything. We do have some time to do this.” In other words, the state is banking on the as-of-yet nonexistent energy collection, and storage technologies in order to achieve their 2045 goal. There is also pushback against the legislation coming from members of Hawaii’s powerful hotel industry, reports The Huffington Post. They view the renewable energy goal as interfering with their plans to use natural gas-powered generators to provide for their electrical needs.

Technological limitations and political considerations will certainly play into Hawaiian Governor David Ige’s thought process as he mulls signing the measure into state law. He has through the end of June to decide.

[via Inhabitat]

Articles
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health