Report Title:

Energy Independence; Government-Industry Consortium



Directs the energy resources coordinator to establish a government-industry consortium for funding, research, and development of renewable energy resources.  (SD1)



S.B. NO.



S.D. 1















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that in the coming years, it will be crucial for the United States and its allies to establish sustainable and affordable new energy sources.  Nowhere is this need more pressing than in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Basin.  The economy of the State and vital United States emergency and security operations across the region depend upon identifying, developing, demonstrating, and validating sustainable and affordable alternative sources of energy.  Hawaii currently imports more than ninety per cent of the State's energy in the form of fossil fuels, which has a tremendous cost to Hawaii's economy.  Although green energy technologies, such as conventional photovoltaic arrays and traditional biomass fuels, exist, these technologies alone are incapable of meeting Hawaii's challenges.

     The legislature finds that new technologies have emerged during the past decade that may be used to make Hawaii energy independent within a generation.  These technologies include new solutions in space, such as space solar power and solar energy system management satellites, and ground-based systems, such as integrated solar energy systems, solar-augmented synthetic fuels, and "brilliant grids" for power distribution.

     The legislature finds that identifying and making significant new investments in sustainable and affordable energy solutions will be a priority for the United States government and many other countries during the next several years.  Hawaii has already established a leadership position in the development and demonstration of key new technologies, in particular, through the success of a recent international demonstration of wireless solar power transmission technologies between the islands of Maui and Hawaii.  The legislature further finds that Hawaii has a strong foundation of innovative small businesses and robust educational institutions, as well as the presence of major international industries across the State.  Accordingly, the legislature finds that a focused new initiative is needed to establish Hawaii as one of the principal leaders in research, commercialization, and application of new ground-based and space-based energy technologies.

     The purpose of this Act is to create an energy initiative that will:

     (1)  Lead the development and demonstration of transformational new energy technologies, including both space and terrestrial solar energy solutions;

     (2)  Demonstrate that Hawaii is a leader in renewable energy development;

     (3)  Implement a portfolio of visionary short-term and long-term energy solutions;

     (4)  Create profitable high-quality new business opportunities for innovative technology-based start-up firms in Hawaii;

     (5)  Establish Hawaii as a world-class leader in sustainable energy education, research, development, demonstrations, manufacturing, and operations; and

     (6)  Enable Hawaii to achieve energy self-sufficiency within a generation, as an example for the rest of the world.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  The energy resources coordinator shall establish a government-industry consortium which shall:

     (1)  Establish the Sustainable Energy Innovation, LLC, to leverage the systems' expertise of the various universities and aerospace industries located in Hawaii;

     (2)  Seek federal and private industry funding for renewable energy technology research;

     (3)  Develop and demonstrate advanced energy technology projects and testing in Hawaii, including space solar power prototypes, integrated solar energy systems, and green fuel generation, beginning with integrated ground-based testing of the first prototype solar power satellite;

     (4)  Provide funding for qualified small business ventures to work on projects in partnership with the University of Hawaii and other universities, corporations, and the international community to rapidly establish renewable energy technologies and businesses; and

     (5)  Assist the University of Hawaii to develop new curricula for advanced sustainable energy economics and systems and to lead the education of the next generation of researchers, engineers, and technicians.

     (b)  The energy resources coordinator shall seek participation in the government-industry consortium from:

     (1)  The department of business, economic development, and tourism;

     (2)  The University of Hawaii;

     (3)  Managed Energy Technologies, LLC;

     (4)  Federal agencies, including but not limited to the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Naval Research, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; and

     (5)  National and international energy experts, such as the Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, ENTECH, Inc., Battelle Memorial Institute, Kobe University, Mitsubishi Trading Company, Auburn University, and Texas A&M University.

     (c)  The energy resources coordinator shall submit an annual report of the findings and progress of the government-industry consortium to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session.

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the organization and operations of the government-industry consortium pursuant to section 2 of this Act.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.