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Transcending Oil

In April 2018, we released a report called Transcending Oil: Hawaii’s Path to a Clean Energy Economy that tells the story of how Hawaii can move faster off of oil than we originally thought, and the faster we do it the more money we save and the more jobs we create.

transcendingoil.com | Download the Full Report

Key Insights

Every year, we comb through applications and project proposals from amazing entrepreneurs around the globe. To learn as much as we can about each new idea, we bring in community members and ask: Which solutions are most likely to positively impact people’s lives? Our curiosity to learn more led us on a quest to refresh the data about exactly how Hawaii has progressed in its transition off of oil, and what’s possible moving forward. Here are three insights we found particularly interesting:

It’s Cheaper To Go Faster Than To Stick With Our Current Targets

The analysis shows that it’s possible to generate between 58% and 84% of Hawaii’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 — and it’s cheaper than not doing it. This is compared to our current target of 40% renewable energy by 2030.


Transitioning From Oil Earlier Creates Good-Paying Jobs

The transition can create as many as 3,500 more jobs in Hawaii compared to what would occur by just meeting current targets (for scale, there are about 2,700 auto mechanics in the State). Clean energy jobs pay $3–7 per hour more than Hawaii’s median wage of about $20 per hour.

Double Down on Mobility

While is rapidly improving, ground transportation continues to pollute and use a greater percentage of oil. Without aligned priorities, modernized land use policies & building codes, and electrification infrastructure, we will drive 17% more with only a 10th of the progress toward Hawai’i’s four county goals of 100 clean transportation by 2045.

We turned the report into an interactive storytelling experience at transcendingoil.com.

Earth Day Energy Summit

Joined by changemakers, policymakers, and straight-up makers from across our islands and the country, we took stock of how far we’ve traveled on our quest for 100% renewable energy since the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative launched in 2008. More importantly, we cultivated opportunities to accelerate that progress and forged a renewed determination to design a clean, resilient, and equitable future in Hawaii — and around the world.

About the Report

Transcending Oil: Hawaii’s Path to a Clean Energy Economy assesses the pace and impact of clean energy deployment in Hawaii since the launch of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative in 2008, and explores potential pathways in the decades to come. This report presents a quantitative independent assessment of our accomplishments to date and describes the future potential of clean energy deployment in Hawaii’s electric power sector and on-road transportation. Commissioned by Elemental Excelerator and independently conducted by Rhodium Group in partnership with Smart Growth America, Polygraph, and Sudokrew Solutions, the report finds that the past decade of transition provided a host of economic and environmental benefits. It also forecasts how Hawai‘i can expand these benefits by accelerating the pace of transition in the years ahead.

Download the Full Report