THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to PHASING OUT FOSSIL FUELS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that to address the adverse effects of climate change, the State passed the first‑in‑the‑nation policy of directing the electric utility companies in the State to generate one hundred per cent of their electricity sales from renewable energy sources by 2045. Since the State's passage of its one hundred per cent renewable energy by 2045 mandate in 2015, more states and cities have followed suit.
While the mandate states that electric utility companies shall establish a renewable portfolio standard of one hundred per cent by 2045, the calculation of the percentage defining the renewable portfolio standard includes electricity generated by sources powered by fossil fuels. The United Nations' landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects a time window of ten years to exercise urgent and drastic action in reducing greenhouse gases to keep the average global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to stem the risks of extreme weather events, refugee flows, heat-related mortality, loss of coastal populations, food insecurity, and other climate-related catastrophes.
Given the dramatic rollback in environmental policy under the current federal administration, the State has an opportunity to fortify its effort alongside other state governments in curbing the climate crisis. The State can further strengthen its renewable energy policy by actively tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and also ensuring that by 2030, electricity sources will not increase greenhouse gas emissions.
The purpose of this Act is to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by requiring electric utility companies to have a greenhouse gas neutral electricity portfolio by December 31, 2029.
SECTION 2. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part V to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§269- Greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard. (a) Each electric utility company that sells electricity for consumption in the State shall establish a greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard of one hundred per cent of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2029.
(b) If the public utilities commission determines that an electric utility company failed to meet the greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard, after a hearing in accordance with chapter 91, the utility shall be subject to penalties to be established by the public utilities commission; provided that if the commission determines that the electric utility company is unable to meet the greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard due to reasons beyond the reasonable control of the electric utility, as set forth in section 269-92(d), the commission, in its discretion, may waive in whole or in part any otherwise applicable penalties.
(c) The public utilities commission may use funds from the public utilities commission special fund to contract with the Hawaii natural energy institute of the University of Hawaii to conduct independent studies as may be needed.
(d) Beginning in 2022, and for every even-numbered year thereafter, the public utilities commission shall evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard and may revise the standard based on the best information available at the time to determine if the standard remains effective and achievable.
(e) The public utilities commission shall report its findings and revisions to the standard, based on its own studies and other information, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2023, and every odd-numbered year thereafter."
SECTION 3. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the title of part V to read as follows:
[ RENEWABLE] ELECTRIC UTILITY
SECTION 4. Section 269-91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:
""Greenhouse gas" includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and any other gases designated by the public utilities commission by rule pursuant to chapter 91.
"Greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard" means the percentage of retail electrical energy sales that is represented by electrical energy from sources that, in their aggregate, are greenhouse gas neutral or remove more anthropogenic greenhouse gas than they emit.
"Greenhouse gas neutral" means that for every ton of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emitted, an equivalent amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas is removed."
SECTION 5. Section 269-93, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsections (a) to (c) to read as follows:
Achieving portfolio [
standard.] standards. (a) An
electric utility company and its electric utility affiliates may aggregate
their renewable portfolios to achieve the renewable portfolio standard. An electric utility company and its
electric utility affiliates may aggregate their greenhouse gas emissions
portfolios to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions portfolio standard.
If an electric utility company and its electric utility affiliates
aggregate their renewable portfolios or greenhouse gas emissions portfolios
to achieve the renewable portfolio standard[
,] or the greenhouse gas
emissions portfolio standard, the public utilities commission may
distribute, apportion, or allocate the costs and expenses of all or any portion
of the respective [ renewable] portfolios among the electric utility
company, its electric utility affiliates, and their respective ratepayers, as
is reasonable under the circumstances.
(c) An electric utility company may recover, through an automatic rate adjustment clause, the electric utility company's revenue requirement resulting from the distribution, apportionment, or allocation of the costs and expenses of the renewable portfolios or the greenhouse gas emissions portfolios of the electric utility company and its electric utility affiliates."
SECTION 6. Section 269-94, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§269-94 Waivers, extensions, and
incentives.[ ]] Any electric utility company not meeting the
renewable portfolio standard or the greenhouse gas emissions portfolio
standard shall report to the public utilities commission within ninety days
following the goal dates established in [ section [269-92],] sections
269-92 and 269‑ and provide an explanation for not
meeting the [ renewable] portfolio standard. The public utilities commission shall have
the option to either grant a waiver from the [ renewable] portfolio [ standard]
standards or an extension for meeting the prescribed [ standard.] standards.
utilities commission may provide incentives to encourage electric utility
companies to exceed their [
renewable] portfolio standards or to meet
their [ renewable] portfolio standards ahead of time, or both."
SECTION 7. Section 269-121, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) The public benefits fee shall be used to support clean energy technology, demand response technology, and energy use reduction, and demand-side management infrastructure, programs, and services, subject to the review and approval of the public utilities commission. These moneys shall not be available to meet any current or past general obligations of the State; provided that the State may participate in any clean energy technology, demand response technology, or energy use reduction, and demand-side management infrastructure, programs, and services on the same basis as any other electric consumer.
For the purpose of this subsection,
"clean energy technology" means any commercially available technology
that enables the State to meet the renewable portfolio standards, established
pursuant to section 269-92, [
or] the energy-efficiency portfolio
standards, established pursuant to section 269-96, or the greenhouse
gas emissions portfolio standard, established pursuant to section 269‑ , and approved by the public
utilities commission by rule or order."
SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.
Electricity; Electric Utilities; Portfolio Standards; Greenhouse Gas Neutral; PUC
Requires electric utility companies to have a greenhouse gas neutral electricity portfolio by 12/31/2029. Requires the public utilities commission to evaluate the progress of achieving greenhouse gas neutrality and impose penalties for failure to meet the portfolio standard.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.