Tesla’s Solar Facility is Part of Hawaii’s Goal For Energy Independence (HBO)

Less than a week after President Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement, at least ten state governors and the mayors of more than 200 American cities had recommitted to the climate accord’s emission standards. But Hawaii was way ahead of the curve — the state passed a law enforcing even stricter clean energy standards back in 2015. And they did it to save money.

Life in Hawaii looks pretty good, but there’s a challenge to living on an island in the middle of the pacific. It’s expensive. And nothing is more expensive than energy. Ninety percent of Hawaiian energy comes from fossil fuels and 100% of that needs to be imported.

An average Hawaiian family can pay up to $600 a month in energy bills. So Hawaii’s governor has set a goal: to power the island completely with renewable energy by 2045.

Getting off oil by 2045 will take wind turbines, volcanic energy, bio-mass recycling, and ocean energy. But Hawaii’s biggest power source will be solar. The trouble is, a sunny day in Hawaii is so sunny, the electrical grid can’t handle all the solar power that is captured, So the state’s opening giant battery fields. Meanwhile, Tesla is building the world’s largest battery factory.

This segment originally aired June 5, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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