Hawaii leading way towards clean energy future

Maui wind turbines. Lahaina Pali trail. (I took the photo on 12/19/06.)

Hawaii governor Linda Lingle has announced a plan for Hawaii to have 70% clean energy by 2030. It’s a stunning plan, and puts the Aloha State in the forefront of renewable energy, leading the way for other states.

Among the features

– An underseas cable so Maui can send wind energy to Oahu.

– Feed-in tariffs. Yes! This mandates that renewable energy can be sold to utilities at above market rates, something which greatly spurs adoption of renewable energy. Germany has done this with great success with homeowner solar.

– Smart grids and smart meters everywhere.

– Phasing out fossil fuel plants and no new coal plants.

– Encouraging the use of electric vehicles and hybrids by all, including the government.

There’s lots more too. In just a few years, Hawaii has gone from arguably being behind the curve in clean energy to cutting edge leadership. Wow.