The very wonders that attract tourists to Hawaii—ample sunshine, big waves, and volcanoes—also make it an ideal spot to generate renewable energy.
Hawaii gets 90 percent of its energy from petroleum, which makes it “the most fossil fuel dependent state in the nation,” according to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. But if all goes as planned, Hawaii could become a clean energy paradise in the next few decades. The very wonders that attract tourists to Hawaii—ample sunshine, big waves, and volcanoes—also make it an ideal spot to generate renewable energy, and the state has one of the country’s most ambitious plans to get off fossil fuels.
By 2030, Hawaii aims to source 40 percent of its power from solar, wind, geothermal, and wave energy—and for efficiency improvements to cut power needs by 30 percent. The state is looking to promote electric vehicles, build utility-scale wind projects, and experiment with smart-grid technologies. If the federal government scales back its support for wind and solar, state policies like these will need to step in to keep driving renewable energy development.