Hawai‘i wins Clean Energy grants

Hawai‘i has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices to support the State’s clean energy initiative. The funds will be used by the state to analyze the costs and benefits of electric vehicles as well as the infrastructure needed to support their large-scale use in Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i is one of 12 states to receive a grant through the Clean Energy States Grants Program, which is part of the NGA’s Securing a Clean Energy Future initiative. The grants are awarded to states to help overcome obstacles to achieving greater energy efficiency and conservation, and to foster the use of clean energy resources. Grant assistance will go towards research, analysis, meetings, training, outreach or other efforts necessary to develop and advance clean energy efforts by the states.

“An important component of securing our economic future requires that we develop a variety of innovative solutions to reduce our overdependence on imported fuel,” said Gov. Linda Lingle, in a press release. “This grant will help Hawai‘i build the foundation needed to transition to electric vehicles and help reduce the need for expensive gasoline. We appreciate NGA’s recognition of Hawai‘i as a leader in clean energy development.”

The grant supports the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership between the State and the U.S. Department of Energy to have 70 percent of the state’s energy come from clean, renewable energy sources.

“We are pleased that Hawai‘i’s commitment to clean energy is being recognized and encouraged at the national level. Electric vehicles are an important part of our goal of reducing greenhouse gases,” said Theodore E. Liu, director of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, in the release.

Twenty-six states competed for the grants, which are made possible by support from American Electric Power, Dominion Resources, The Ford Motor Company, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the NGA Center for Best Practices. Additional funding from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation will help support a technical assistance workshop for the states to be held in Washington, D.C., this fall.

Earlier this year, Lingle participated in the NGA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., as part of a year-long initiative to enlist the efforts of all governors to move the United States toward a cleaner, more independent and more secure energy future.

Lingle serves on the NGA’s eight-member energy task force, which is co-chaired by Governors Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota) and Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas). Other energy task force members include Governors Jodi Rell (Connecticut), Charlie Crist (Florida), Brian Schweitzer (Montana), Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania) and Chris Gregoire (Washington).

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