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Powering Up: Energy in Hawaii

A Special Report from the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT)

(page 8 of 9)

“We now focus our limited resources on high impact solutions that are most likely to move the needle toward our clean energy goals. ”

Photo: Olivier Koning

Driving Toward a Clean Future

Mark Glick was appointed Administrator for the State Energy Office in October 2011 and it’s been full speed ahead since for the state’s clean energy agenda. In the past year, Hawai‘i officials have signed international agreements with Japan, China and Korea to develop green technologies and advanced smart grid systems. Glick believes that a clear policy vision and focused approach to deploying clean energy infrastructure is the trick to staying ahead of the curve.

How has Hawai‘i emerged as a Top Five national leader when it comes to solar water installations, green job growth, installed photovoltaic capacity and electric vehicle charging station availability?

Much of it has to do with the clear goals established by Hawai‘i’s renewable energy portfolio standards, which calls for 40 percent of all electricity produced by the year 2030 come from solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources. The combination of state and federal incentives and unified support by the public and private sector for deploying a clean energy infrastructure is an equally important driving force.

This unified support sets the stage for attracting long-term investment and economic growth. An example of this is the bipartisan, private and public sector support for the cable legislation, which will be a game-changer when it comes to deploying new renewable sources.

How has the State Energy Office evolved to lead the transformation from conventional energy systems and fuels to a clean energy future?

We’ve established a new strategic plan whose mission is to establish a clean energy infrastructure as a catalyst for economic growth, for developing “testbed” investments and advancing Hawai‘i’s energy security. We now focus our limited resources on high impact solutions that are most likely to move the needle toward our clean energy goals. For instance, we recently developed a Top 40 list of renewable projects, which aims to identify projects that can make the biggest impact on Hawai‘i’s renewable energy future.

We engage our clean energy stakeholders through our updated website energy.hawaii.gov. Stakeholders can find our Top 40 list there as well as our “Permitting Wizard,” which lists all of the regulatory steps that a developer would face for installing clean energy projects around the state.

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