STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2687
RE: S.B. No. 2818
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 Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2818 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 require, and appropriate funds for, the Public Utilities Commission to contract with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute of the University of Hawaii to conduct a study regarding renewable gas to determine economic and technical feasibility of the use of renewable gas by gas utility companies.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; University of Hawai‘i System; Hawaii State Energy Office; Hawaii Bioeconomy Trade Organization; Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas; Hawai‘i Gas; Par Hawaii; Ulupono Initiative; Blue Planet Foundation; Hawaii Electric Company, Inc.; and fourteen individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Life of the Land, 350Hawaii, Progressive Democrats of Hawaii, Our Revolution Hawaii, and four individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Public Utilities Commission.
Your Committees find that Hawaii's energy sector is transitioning to renewable energy as a means to expand and diversify the State's economy, environment, and security, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Your Committees believe that to complete the transition to renewable energy completely and successfully, and to ensure consumers are not harmed by unreasonably increasing energy costs, it is important that all relevant entities are aligned to the extent economically feasible. This measure will assist the State in reaching its renewable energy goals by requiring a study to attain additional information regarding the feasibility of the State's renewable energy goals.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the Hawaii State Energy Office, instead of the Public Utilities Commission, to conduct an independent renewable gas study;
(2) Clarifying that the study considers required regulated and unregulated gas utilities company infrastructure improvements and additions;
(3) Clarifying that the study of any renewable gas policy framework should ensure the timely recovery of reasonable costs attributable to renewable gas;
(4) Changing the source of funding for the study from the public utilities commission special fund to the energy security special fund; and
(5) 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 Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2818, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2818, 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 Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
GLENN WAKAI, Chair