Governor Calls For More Renewable Energy Development, Including Hydropower, Offshore Wind

Jan 29, 2020

Hawaii’s chief executive says, under current industry estimates, there is not enough land to cover the state’s energy needs solely using photovoltaic solar. But he sees promise in other options for the state to reach 100 percent renewable energy.

In an interview with HPR this week, the second-term governor said there has been an acceleration of renewable energy projects coming online, and consumers are seeing savings.

Ige has made pursuit of the state’s renewable energy goal one of his signature issues. The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative requires 100 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2045.

The governor said he thinks there is broad public support for the idea, noted achieving the goal means the development of more land for wind and solar projects.

Ige also said meeting that goal will likely mean exploring the development of less popular options like wave power and offshore wind.

“There is not adequate land available to be all PV-based, that we would need to have wind energy,” Ige said, recounting what was told to him by representatives of utility companies.

Recent protests of a wind power project in Kahuku on Oahu have highlighted some communities’ preference for solar over large turbines.

The governor said he also supports use of hydro-electric generation, which he called a proven technology.

With three years left in office, Ige said he wants to push beyond clean power and move toward decarbonizing the broader state economy.

This is Part 2 of HPR’s sit-down with Gov. David Ige. Part One covered social issues like crime, homelessness, and mental health.