To mark Earth Day 2017, Hawaiian utilities shared their progress in replacing fossil fuels with renewables and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Hawaii has committed to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2045, which demands significantly reducing the islands dependence on oil.
To mark Earth Day on 22 April, Hawaiian Electric Companies – Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light – released a series of statistics showcasing their progress.
Hawaiian Electric Companies reached a new milestone last year, with 26 per cent of the electricity used by customers being generated by renewables – up from 23 per cent in 2015.
Moreover, on the state’s largest island renewable electricity use surpassed the halfway mark for the first time, reaching 54 per cent compared to 49 per cent the previous year.
Customer-owned solar dominated the renewable power mix, accounting for 34 per cent of renewable energy generation last year, followed by wind and biomass at 29 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
Oil consumption also fell dramatically, with Hawaiian Electric’s use of oil in generators on Oahu falling to 6 million barrels from 7.8 million barrels between 2008 and 2018 – a 21 per cent decline.
The utilities’ goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2010 levels by 2020.
To achieve this target, the Hawaiian Electric Companies are expected to cut emissions by 865,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to the energy consumed by 116,000 homes each year.
The number of registered plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) has surpassed the 5,000 mark in the state.
Hawaii is now one of the leading states for EVs per capita, second only to California – according to the utilities.
Hawaiian utilities have recently partnered with branches of government, non-profits and private companies to accelerate the adoption of EVs across the state.
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