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Alia Fawaz

Hawaii’s natural beauty is world-renowned. Its pristine beaches, stunning landscapes, and biodiversity have made it one of the most desirable destinations for holidaymakers, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. In a few decades this archipelago in the Pacific Ocean will also make a name for itself as the first state in the United States to run entirely on renewable energy.

An important bill has been passed by the Hawaiian state legislature. It provides that 100 percent of the state’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2045. While this may sound quite far-fetched today, officials in Hawaii seem to be confident that they can realize this goal, as long as they can put the infrastructure in place.

Natural resources help 

Fortunately, Hawaii is blessed with abundant natural resources. These can help the state to develop more renewable energy, of various types: solar, wind, and geothermal. Mark Glick, from the Hawaii State Energy Office, said, “This is a significant step in our effort toward reducing Hawaii’s dependence on expensive imported oil and putting the state on the path toward greater energy, environmental and economic security.” As soon as the bill is approved, Hawaii will have to start generating its electricity from a combination of sources–hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, hydrogen fuel cells, ocean wave, tidal action, wind, solar, etc.– which will replace oil as the major source of its electricity.

Zero imports of fuel

According to the new bill, Hawaii’s goal is to completely stop importing fuel. The state currently imports around 93 percent of its energy, making its residential electric power rates among the most expensive in the United States (around 175 percentof the U.S. average). Hawaii now obtains around 22 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar. If Hawaii does succeed in making the switch from dependency on fossil fuels to all clean energy, it will set a good example for the rest of the world to follow.