HEPF 2020 Annual Briefing

 January 10, 2020 – Bending the Curve: Energy, Transportation, and Climate Change Policy

Click on underlined speaker names to access their presentation. Full recordings of the sessions can be accessed by clicking the underlined title. 

HEPF’s annual briefing focuses on aligning our energy, transportation, and climate change policy with the needs of Hawai’i residents. We recognize a significant gap between our 2045 carbon neutrality goals and where we are now, and pose the following questions: 

  • Where are we on the trajectories (both short-term and long-term) and where do we need to be?
  •  Are we doing enough to achieve the goals we have established?
  • Is it even possible to meet our goals, and if so what will it take? 
  • What about other pressing needs in Hawai’i?

Achieving our clean electricity and ground transportation is implied in our goal of carbon neutrality by 2045. Reaching our Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) depends largely on the development of renewable resources which are subject to cost considerations, siting, and community acceptance as well as the ability of the grid to accommodate increasing levels of variable utility-scale and distributed generation.  Transitioning to clean transportation depends on three primary elements: mode shift, electrification, and land use. What is needed today to keep Hawai’i on track to meet our vision of an equitable clean energy future for Hawai’i? 

1:00pm – Welcome – Sherilyn Wee, UH Public Policy Center

1:05pm – Opening Remarks

  • Governor David Ige
  • Representative Nicole Lowen

1:15pm – Keynote and Fireside Chat



  • Aimee Barnes, California-China Climate Institute
  • Jeremy Tarr, NC Governor’s Office &


  • Richard Wallsgrove, UH Richardson School of Law

2:00pm – Measuring Hawai’i’s Progress Towards Clean Energy Goals: How are we doing?  How far do we have to go?

2:10pm – Elephants in Electricity: Roadblocks to Reaching Our Goals


  • David Bissell, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative  
  • John Cole, Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute 
  • Brian Kealoha, Hawai’i Energy 
  • Jennifer Potter, Public Utities Commission  
  • Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric  


  • Matthias Fripp, UHERO and UH Dept of Engineering

2:55pm – Break

3:05pm – Ground Transportation: Revolution or Evolution?



3:50pm – HEPF Peer Exchange Summary

4:30pm – Close