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Goal set for Hawaii to greatly expand renewable energy

Hawai’i would get at least 70 percent of its energy from a renewable source by 2030, under a joint state and federal initiative announced today.

The state and the U.S. Department of Energy established the “Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative,” a partnership to put the state on a path to supplying most if its energy needs from “clean energy,” such as wind, solar, ocean, geothermal and bioenergy.

“This innovative, unprecedented partnership builds on the progress the state has made to increase energy independence by decreasing Hawai’i’s reliance on imported oil,” Gov. Linda Lingle said in a news conference today. “Our islands’ abundant natural sources of energy, combined with the considerable capabilities of the Department of Energy, will help Hawai’i lead America in utilizing clean, renewable energy technologies.”

U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner said the federal department will “commit its technical and policy expertise and capabilities to help demonstrate reliable, affordable and clean energy technologies in Hawai’i.”

The governor’s office said efforts will focus on working with the public and private sector on clean energy projects, including creative cost-effective approaches for 100 percent use of renewable energy on smaller islands, improving the stabilities of electrical grids that operate with variable generating sources, and expanding the use of local crops as by-products for producing fuel and electricity.

The Honolulu Advertiser

28 January 2008