The conversation about Hawaii and clean technology often focuses on the state's push for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045.
For the past five years, the nonprofit Energy Services Coalition has ranked Hawaii first in government energy performance contracting. The state spends nearly six times the national average in performance contracting per capita.
In the past 20 years, the state’s energy office has signed more than $440 million in performance contracts for a savings of more than $1.1 billion. Hawaii is home to the single largest performance contract in the U.S., a $158 million deal with the Hawaii Department of Transportation that covers nearly all of the state’s airports. It will cut energy use in 12 airports by nearly 50 percent.
In 2016, the Hawaiian government made huge strides in Energy Star certification. The private sector has also substantially increased its number of Energy Star buildings in the past decade.
Hawaii voted in 2015 to upgrade its building code to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2015, which is expected to save more than 1 million megawatt-hours of energy in the first decade.
The state is also updating the rules for reporting on its energy-efficiency portfolio standard, which is no longer part of its renewable portfolio standard reporting. Overall, the state has a goal of reducing energy demand by 4,300 gigawatt-hours by 2030, or about 40 percent below 2007 levels.
Hawaii is not limiting its leadership role to renewables and efficiency. The state is convening regular stakeholder meetings to develop a transportation energy roadmap in a move away from petroleum. The roadmap will build off of the 22 recommendations that came out of the 2015 Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative’s Transportation Energy Analysis.
As for its renewable goals, Hawaii continues to grow its solar and wind portfolio, with hydro, geothermal, biomass and biofuels rounding out the mix. In 2015, Hawaii was getting nearly a quarter of its electricity from renewables.