Bill sets 100% renewable energy goal for Hawaii transportation sector

This story appeared in the Pacific Business News on Friday, January 27

A Hawaii lawmaker hopes to get people out of their gas-guzzling cars and trucks and into electric vehicles — or vehicles that run on renewable fuels — within the next 30 years.

Senate Bill 1186, which was introduced by state Sen. Lorraine Inouye, D-Hilo-Kona, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy, looks to also update the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative to reflect the state’s target of achieving 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2045.

Honolulu-based renewable energy-focused nonprofit Blue Planet Foundation strongly supports this bill.

“The majority of our fossil fuel now goes into transportation, and that’s a challenge that we have to solve, urgently,” Richard Wallsgrove, policy director for Blue Planet, told PBN in an email Thursday. “But unlike in our electricity sector, there currently isn’t a firm vision for what the transition to 100 percent renewable transportation should look like — or even what the target date is.

"With this bill, we would be aligning the target for renewable electricity with the target for renewable transportation," Wallsgrove said. "And just as we’ve seen with the 100 percent renewable electricity target, we expect this will unlock more cross-collaboration, lead to more effective and actionable plans, and accelerate more options for consumers.”

The state already has set a goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 for its electricity sector. The new transportation goal and the existing electricity goal would be combined into one overall goal.

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