Hawaii has become the first state to devote it attention to becoming 100 percent dependent on renewable energy. Thirty years, that's how long the state thinks it will take. According to Extreme Tech, the Hawaiian legislature passed legislation, by a 74-2 vote, making it a requirement that the entire state run on renewable energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels, by the year 2045.
To achieve this lofty goal, Hawaii has a long way to go. Hawaii actually has the most expensive electricity rates in the county. This is a direct result of the fact that 80 percent of its electricity is generated by imported oil, for which it pays 175 percent above the national average. This has lead to one in every eight houses in Hawaii installing solar panels as their source of power, according to Inquisitr.
To make sure progress stays on track, the bill also comes with checkpoints that the state hopes to reach before its 30-year deadline. By 2020, the state hopes to be 25 percent dependent on renewable energy sources, followed by 40 percent in 2030, 70 percent in 2040 and the final 100 percent five years later.
"This is a significant step in our effort toward reducing Hawaii's dependence on expensive imported oil and putting the state on the path toward greater energy, environmental and economic security," Mark Glick, Hawaii State Energy Office administrator said to Scientific American.
Hawaii leading the way
Hawaii is the first state to set a hard deadline of when it hopes to achieve 100 percent renewable energy dependence, but it could lead the way for other parts of the country to do the same. While Hawaii is the first state to officially announce its plans, it doesn't necessarily plan to be the first state to go completely green.
Anthony Kuh, University of Hawaii at Manoa's Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability Group director, explains to Scientific American, "We don't probably have the technology today to do everything. We do have some time to do this."
This basically means that, while Hawaii will do all in its power to achieve this goal, it is going to take advantage of the far-in-advance deadline and wait for technological advancements to help make this dream a conceivable reality.
Luckily, other states in the U.S. are already making strides to become wholly dependent on renewable energy. California set a goal of 33 percent dependence by 2020, according to Slate, and may already be at 25 percent. The state's governor has even proposed setting higher goals, going from 30 percent in 2020 to 50 percent by 2030.
New York also has an "80 by 50" plan, where it hopes to cut their emissions levels 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Even states that currently have a lower percentage of renewable source dependence are looking to increase their number. Kansas is looking to reach 20 percent by 2020.
Moving toward a green future
The passing of this legislation also makes it easier to see the implementation of solar farms become a reality. Potentially powering thousands of homes and businesses, solar farms will ideally be introduced to Hawaii's new power grid. Plans look to add eight to the city of Oahu. The new power system will include batteries with the capability to save excess power, similar to what's currently used in smart phones.
When combined with solar panels, these batteries will be able to use stored energy during low periods when the sun isn't out, such as nighttime or cloudy days, these batteries make it so that power is always accessible.