STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2695
RE: S.B. No. 2547
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism and Higher Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 2547 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute of the University of Hawaii to conduct a feasibility study on the State's ability to achieve its goal of producing one hundred percent of its electricity from renewable energy; and
(2) Appropriate funds to conduct the study.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc; Americans for Democratic Action; and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and University of Hawai‘i System.
Your Committees find that the State is highly susceptible to the negative effects of climate change. It is important for the State to transition away from imported fuels and move toward local renewable energy sources. Your Committees further find that to decrease the State's dependence on fossil fuels, the Legislature passed Act 97, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015, which requires all electric utility companies to establish a renewable portfolio standard of one hundred percent of its net electricity sales by 2045. However, it is unclear how feasible this goal is for the State. Your Committees believe that more extensive research needs to be done in order to understand the possibility of reaching a renewable portfolio standard of one hundred percent by 2045. This measure will provide the guidance to conduct a study of the State's ability to achieve its goal of producing one hundred percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045.
Your Committees note that according to testimony from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Public Utilities Commission is mandated to work regularly with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute of the University of Hawaii to provide findings and recommendations regarding the State's ability to achieve the renewable portfolio standard and that an appropriation is not necessary for the Institute to conduct a study as required by this measure.
Accordingly, your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting the appropriation clause; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism and Higher Education that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2547, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2547, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism and Higher Education,
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair
GLENN WAKAI, Chair