How will Hawaii reach its clean energy goals? ‘We just have to be committed’

Hawaii is the first state to commit to 100% clean energy
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:27 PM HST|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 10:48 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - What will it take for Hawaii to meet its mandate of producing 100% clean energy by 2045?

Experts from across the country shared their ideas on the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Wednesday for the 10th Annual Hawaii Energy Conference.

“We just have to be committed. We have to incentivize innovation. We have to incentivize bringing the community voices to the table so that everyone has a voice in our future. We have to make it work,” said Maui Economic Development Board President and CEO Leslie Wilkins.

MEDB is the presenting organization for the conference.

According to Hawaiian Electric, 32% of electricity generated on Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui County was from renewable resources last year. Hawaii Island generated 48%, Maui County generated 36%, and Oahu generated 28%.

Kauai County has its own co-op, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. KIUC led the state, achieving more than 60% last year.

“This conference is about learning. It’s about networking with others. What is available? Will the state invest in it? Is it good? It’s about diversification,” said Sen. Lynn DeCoite, Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism Chair. “Education is power.”

Hawaii is the first state to commit to 100% clean energy.

Wednesday’s keynote speaker was Youth Climate Justice Activist Daphne Frias, 25, from New York.

“One thing I’ve noticed since being here was the lack of a young presence,” Frias said.

“Young people have really sort of taken up the mantle in the climate crisis, becoming leaders and solving solutions we’re adults haven’t been able to, and I wanted to make sure that our voices were represented.”

Frias hopes more people will get involved.

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