Energy News

Apr 25
Apr 20
Background: Proposed Laws to Accelerate Clean Energy Storage
Good news. Two energy storage bills have survived to the end of the legislative session.  
Bad news. Those two bills conflict with each other. Without your help, both may fail to even get a vote.
Senate Bill 2738 would raid the state's green energy loan fund to issue rebates when battery systems are installed at a home or business. This isn't the right approach. Money given away as rebates would never again be available for clean energy loans. The rebates would be limited only to energy storage using batteries. But there are other ways to store energy, such as in smart water heaters and air conditioners. We will be better off with more storage options.
House Bill 2291 would scale down the solar tax credits that have been so successful in moving Hawaii away from oil. Energy storage technologies would become eligible for the reduced tax credit. But we have a chicken and egg problem. The solar industry in Hawaii is facing severe limits on the amount of new solar energy it can install. Energy storage can help fix that situation, but scaling back renewable energy incentives could shrink the industry before more energy storage is installed. Moreover, this bill was originally slated to make sure that 100% renewable energy means 100% renewable energy, by closing a loophole that might allow for fossil fuel energy. The latest bill deleted that important fix.
Action Alert: Be Ready to Tell Legislators that you Support Energy Storage and 100% Clean Energy
In the coming week, a committee of senators and representatives will examine these two bills and try to reach agreement. Blue Planet needs support from a broad spectrum of residents and businesses, to let legislators know that Hawaii wants to accelerate energy storage and clean energy in a smart way.
We are working to build consensus on a bill that will:
  •  Provide tax credits to all types and sizes of clean energy storage
  •  Keep the state's green energy loan fund intact
  •  Close the fossil fuel loophole, and make sure that our 100% clean energy really means 100%
  •  Protect thousands of jobs and businesses in the solar energy industry

Stay tuned for an update from us on when and how you can make your voice heard!

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Apr 20
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Mar 21
Mar 16
Hawaii took a leap last year by committing to a 100% renewable energy future. But now we need YOUR help to ensure that 100% really means 100%. Please submit testimony before the end of the day Thursday (3/17) in support of HB 2291 with an amendment to make sure all energy systems achieve Hawaii's clean energy targets. More details below.
A bill (HB 2291) being heard in committee this Friday will correct how the percentage of renewable energy is currently calculated. How? By simply changing the basis of the calculation from electricity sales to electrical generation. This will prevent giving "double credit" for rooftop solar and correct other problems.
But there's more to 100% renewable than just what the utility generates. Some large customers—such as hotels—may invest in their own mini-powerplant onsite. Often powered by gas, these "combined heat and power" facilities, while efficient, may be completely fueled by fossil sources. We could see an increasingly renewable power grid (currently over 23% renewable) while some customers are 100% fossil-powered.
Fortunately, there's a solution. House Bill 2291 should be amended to require that all grid-connected energy systems comply with Hawaii's renewable energy targets. A previous draft of this bill, HB 2291 HD1, contained language to do just that. This version has the support of the State, the Public Utilities Commission, and other stakeholders. But we need to make sure that the Senate committees re-insert this important language into HB 2291 and move it forward.
PLEASE ask the committees to pass HB 2291 amended back to the HD1 form.
Please submit testimony before the end of the day Thursday (3/17) in strong support of HB 2291 with an amendment to ensure that all energy systems comply with our renewable energy targets (identical to the HD1 version of the bill). This is the only hearing in the Senate on this bill, so now is our chance to make this change. Every voice counts.
Submit testimony by emailing to [email protected] 
(if you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected])
Senate Transportation & Energy Committee
Friday, March 18, 9:45am
Testimony in support of HB 2291 HD2
Aloha Chairs Inouye and Baker and members of the committees:
I strongly support House Bill 2291, clarifying that 100% renewable means 100%. Last year, Hawaii was recognized across the globe for its commitment to a 100% clean energy future. But now we need to make sure we are honest with how we achieve this goal. HB 2291 corrects the method for calculating our renewable energy percentage to make sure we stay on track.
The bill before you should be amended, however, to require that all powerplants—not just those that the utility owns—comply with Hawaii's renewable energy targets. A previous draft of this bill, HB 2291 HD1, contained such language, ensuring that all "grid-connected energy systems" are included in the calculation of the overall renewable energy percentage. This version has the support of the State, the Public Utilities Commission, and other stakeholders. Please pass an amended HB 2291 with language that ensures "100% means 100%." 
Mar 14
Mar 08

Clearing the Path for Clean Energy