Hawaii Adopts Renewable Portfolio Standard

Hawaii has enacted a law that requires the state's public utilities to provide 8 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by December 31, 2005. The percentage of renewables required rises to 10 percent in 2010 and by 1 percent every year thereafter, reaching 20 percent in 2020. The bill, signed by Governor Linda Lingle on June 2, 2004, cites the legislature's concern with Hawaii's growing dependence on oil imports. It allows the Public Utilities Commission to excuse a utility from meeting the standard if the Commission determines that the standard could not be met in a cost-effective manner or as a result of circumstances beyond the utility's control. The bill also directs the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to undertake certain projects to support the private sector's development of renewable energy projects.

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