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U.S. Department of Energy and State of Hawaii Sign Agreement to Increase Clean Energy Technologies in Hawaii

January 28, 2008 - 10:53am

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DOE to support transformation of Hawaii's energy supply through Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative

HONOLULU, HI -The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the State of Hawaii today strengthened cooperation to implement clean energy technologies that will increase energy efficiency and maximize use of the State's vast and abundant renewable resources.  DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner and Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), a long-term partnership designed to transform Hawaii's energy system to one that utilizes renewable energy and energy efficient technologies for a significant portion of its energy needs.  The partnership aims to put Hawaii on a path to supply 70% of its energy needs using clean energy by 2030, which could reduce 72% of Hawaii's current crude oil consumption.  This type of clean energy transformation will continue to help sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Through this unique initiative, DOE is pleased to commit its technical and policy expertise and capabilities to help demonstrate reliable, affordable and clean energy technologies in Hawaii.  With an abundance of natural resources and environmental treasures, Hawaii is the ideal location to showcase the broad benefits of renewable energy at work on an unprecedented scale," Assistant Secretary Karsner said. "Hawaii's success will serve as an integrated model and demonstration test bed for the United States and other island communities globally, many of which are just beginning the transition to a clean energy economy."

"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," said Governor Lingle, who previewed the historic agreement last week in her State of the State Address.  "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."

As a leader in clean energy technologies, DOE will work with Hawaii to further the potential of its natural resources, including wind, sun and bioenergy resources.  DOE will immediately engage experts in clean energy technology development to help Hawaii to launch several projects with public and private sector partners that target early opportunities and critical needs for Hawaii's transition to a clean energy economy, including:

  • Designing cost-effective approaches for the exclusive use of renewable energy on smaller islands;
  • Designing systems to improve stability of electric grids operating with variable generating sources, such as wind power plants on the islands of Hawaii and Maui;
  • Minimizing energy use while maximizing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at new large military housing developments;
  • Expanding Hawaii's capability to use locally grown crops and byproducts for producing fuel and electricity; and
  • Assisting in the development of comprehensive energy regulatory and policy frameworks for promoting clean energy technology use.

This cooperation between DOE and the State of Hawaii continues the work of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which aims to identify clean energy solutions for the entire nation, set the U.S. on the path to greater energy security and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

View this MOU and learn more about EERE.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940

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