Strategic Alliances for Decarbonization & Energy Self Sufficiency

2023 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum. A key measure of our energy transition success to date has been the State of Hawai‘i’s unique partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, starting with a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Hawaii in 2008. 

Subsequent critical investments by the Department of Energy to conduct advanced scenario and grid integration analyses, as well as training and technical assistance alliances, have yielded remarkable advances in renewable penetration and energy efficiency in our State.

By the end of 2021, our two electric utilities, Hawaiian Electric and Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative, are well on their way to meeting the nation’s first-ever 100% renewable portfolio standard, achieving a renewable penetration of 38% and 69.5%, respectively, in their service territories. 

This 20th Anniversary Legislative Briefing comes at a pivotal time, with a new administration in place, following on the passage of two of the most significant pieces of federal legislation ever passed: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Join us, as we chart a bold course to 100% renewable energy in Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaii Energy Policy Forum’s 20th Anniversary Legislative Briefing

Strategic Alliances for Decarbonization & Energy Self-Sufficiency


A unique historical partnership between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy has helped drive Hawaii’s energy transition and is creating replicable models for energy transition and decarbonization pathways in the Pacific Region and beyond. 

Date: January 12, 2023

Location: The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Campus Centre Ballroom


8:00-9:00 am: Complimentary Continental Breakfast

9:00 am: Welcome from Mark Glick, Chair, Hawaiʻi Energy Policy Forum. 

The Hawaiʻi Energy Policy Forum 20th Anniversary Legislative Briefing has come full circle since 2003 as a precursor to Hawaiʻi’s clean energy initiative, helping to chart the course to energy self-sufficiency and a net-zero carbon future. This year’s briefing features the Deputy Secretary of Energy, David Turk, and the newly inaugurated Governor of Hawaiʻi, Josh Green. The Briefing also concludes Climate Week, a collaboration organized by HEPF and the State of Hawaii’s Climate Change and Adaptation Commission. 

9:03 am: Charting the Course of Hawaii’s Clean Energy Future Video Presentation and Timeline

9:06 am: Message from the Governor of Hawaii and Introduction of the US Deputy Secretary of Energy

9:15 am: Keynote Address: Shaping the Nation’s Renewable Future: David Turk, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy

9:20 am: Interview Jeffrey Mikulina in conversation with David Turk

9:40 am: Deputy Secretary Panel & Q&A (60 minutes) Decarbonization, Resilience and Grid Transformation

  • Moderator: Mark Glick, Chair, HEPF
  • Panel Members:
    • David Turk, U.S Deputy Secretary of Energy
    • Josh Green, M.D, Governor, State of Hawaii
    • Michael Bruno, Provost, University of Hawaii at Manoa

10:35 am: Decarbonization Pathways: Energy in Transportation 

Hawaiʻi’s efforts to decarbonize energy supplying the transportation sector are beginning to accelerate after a slow start. Among the developments to be explored are the latest in electrification of ground and air transportation, fuel switching and road use fees.

  • Moderator & Discussant: Mark Glick, Chair, HEPF
  • Speakers/Panel Members:
    • Ed Sniffen, Director of Transportation
    • Kirsten Turner, Acting Chief Energy Officer, Hawaii State Energy Office 
    • Rep. Nicole Lowen, Chair, Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection
    • Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing Officer, Hawaiian Airlines

11:35 am: Transforming the Grid: High Penetration Renewable Integration: Hawai‘i Update: Firm Renewable Analysis Findings, firm Renewable Focus (pumped hydro, geothermal, third-party solutions)

As Hawaiʻi reaches high rates of renewable energy integration, challenges to electrical grid stability and reliability are being met by new research, technological solutions, and innovative approaches. State and federal leaders will reveal how they see renewable energy integration of 70% and beyond  through innovation in energy storage systems and what constitutes enough“firm” renewable energy. 

  • Moderator: Brandie Williams, Senior Vice President, Pathion
  • Panel Members:
    • Rick Rocheleau, Director, Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute
    • Colton Ching, Senior Vice President, Hawaiian Electric Company  
    • David Bissell, President & CEO, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative 

12:35 pm:  Lunch Hawai’i Climate Pledge Presentation by Jeffrey Mikulina, HEC (Hawai’i Executive Collaborative) 

1:50 pm: Malama ‘Āina: Place and Value-Based Energy Planning & Deployment: A Panel Discussion on Community-Driven Energy Planning & Deployment  

The future success of energy transitions to carbon-free energy resources will increasingly be determined by how effectively communities are substantially involved and engaged. This panel explores groundbreaking community-driven energy plans and deployment efforts that are defining the next wave of transition success.  

  • Moderator: Jim Laehy
  • Speakers/Panel Members:
    • Leilani Chow, Sustʻāinable Molokai /MCEH
    • Alex De Roode, Former Maui Energy Commissioner
    • Noel Morin, Chair, Sustainable Energy Hawai’i 
    • Concluding Keynote: John De Fries, Chair, HTA

3:05 pm Building Resilient Communities

The effects of climate change and extreme weather events are particularly impactful in island and remote communities.  Once again, communities are the source of innovative solutions to transform some of our most vulnerable energy systems. This session probes into the state-federal partnerships that are providing support to communities in the quest for energy security and resiliency. 

  • Moderator:  David Lopez, Executive Officer, Hawaii Energy Management Agency 
  • Speakers/Panel Members:
    • Dotty Kelly-Paddock, Executive Director, Hui o Hau’ula re: Ko ‘olaulea Community Resilience Hub
    • Leah Laramie, Hawaiʻi Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission Co-ordinator
    • Dr. Henry McKoy, Director, Office of State and Community Programs, U.S. Department of Energy 
    • Jill Lowry, Executive Director, Anaina Hou Community Park on behalf of the County of Kauaʻi

4:30 pm: Finale

The 20th Anniversary HEPF Legislative Briefing concludes with final remarks and highlights of Climate Week and the 20th Anniversary HEPF Legislative Briefing. Presented by Climate Resilience and Adaptation Commission Coordinator Leah Laramie and HEPF Chair Mark Glick.

5:00 pm: Adjourn


A limited number of parking passes are available in the parking structure adjacent to the Campus Ballroom. These passes are available on a first come, first serve basis. We recommend rideshare if possible. To request a parking pass, email: hepf@hawaii.edu. Parking passes are available for zones 17 and 20.

The Campus Ballroom is located here: