No one likes to be lagging behind in trends, so it’s great to see that green is so in fashion right now. The EU has set renewable energy goals for 2020, but three countries have already met theirs, eight years ahead of schedule. Last year, clean sources were the biggest contributor to Germany’s electricity supply, accounting for 24% of the total amount produced. That same year, Denmark set a world record for wind power, generating almost 40% of its total electricity from this source, putting it well on schedule for its 2020 goal of 50% of its electricity coming from renewables. China and the U.S. are also now world leaders in green energy investment.
Now, jumping on the bandwagon, Hawaii’s legislature just passed a bill that states that by 2045, 100% of the state’s electricity must come from renewable sources. Right now, only 22% of the grid is supplied by green energy; by 2020 this must increase to 30%, followed by 70% for 2040, Clean Technica reports. The governor, David Ige, must reject or pass “House Bill 623” by May 15 or it will automatically become law, but his background in engineering, coupled with the fact he is a Democrat, has people anticipating a positive response.
“We’ll now be the most populated set of islands in the world with an independent grid to establish a 100 percent renewable electricity goal,” State Senator Mike Gabbard told Think Progress. “Through this process of transformation we can be the model that other states and even nations follow. And we’ll achieve the biggest energy turnaround in the country, going from 90 percent dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.”
These goals shouldn’t be unachievable, either; Hawaii has already invested a substantial amount in solar, installing panels on one in every eight houses, according to Think Progress. This has helped the country generate around 10% of the total electricity needs from this renewable source. Furthermore, being adorned with active volcanoes has allowed geothermal projects, which also contribute a significant chunk to the grid.
Hawaii is keen to climb on board with renewables largely because of the excessive costs of electricity on the archipelago. Currently, their major source of electricity is oil-fired power plants, but since they have to import their oil, it’s on average about three times more expensive than what other U.S. states pay.
Regardless of motives, it’s great to see that more and more governments are taking green energy and the environment seriously. Take Costa Rica, for example: Back in March, they announced that they had used only renewables to produce electricity for 75 days straight, which is certainly a remarkable achievement. Let’s hope these impressive feats spur more and more countries into much needed action.