Act 253: “The primary objective of the bioenergy master plan shall (be to) develop a Hawaii renewable biofuels program to manage the State’s transition to energy self-sufficiency based in part on biofuels for power generation and transportation.”
Welcome to the website information for the Hawaii Bioenergy Master Plan Project, established and funded under Part III of Act 253, Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) 2007. The Act called for the preparation of a bioenergy master plan to “set the course for the coordination and implementation of policies and procedures to develop a bioenergy industry in Hawaii.”
The Hawaii Bioenergy Master Plan project final report  was completed in December 2009. The Plan was developed to address a number of outcomes and issues prescribed by the Act, spanning a diverse range of considerations - from business partnerships and financial incentives to land and water resource issues. Toward this end, preparation of the Plan involved a wide range of stakeholders from Hawaii’s agriculture, business, research, and broader communities.
This website material was developed and is maintained by the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), under contract to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). Using this website, all stakeholders are invited and encouraged to be informed of the Project.
About the Project
Recognizing the importance of increased use of renewable biomass energy resources in Hawaii, the 2007 Legislature passed HB 1003 HD3 SD2 CD1, signed into law as Act 253, SLH 2007. Part III of the Act called for the preparation of a bioenergy master plan (Plan) by DBEDT to “set the course for the coordination and implementation of policies and procedures to develop a bioenergy industry in Hawaii.” DBEDT entered into a contract with HNEI to prepare the Plan in accordance with Act 253 Part III (see below).
Act 253 followed the convening of two statewide bioenergy events in 2006, the Governor’s Biofuels Summit and the Ag Bioenergy Workshop. These meetings were held in acknowledgment of the benefits, the complexity, and the challenges of Hawaii-based bioenergy industry development. Meeting participants represented all sectors of the bioenergy industry value chain – biomass production, conversion, distribution and storage, and end use – that are necessary elements of successful industry development.
The increased use of the state’s biomass resources for the production of fuels for transportation and electricity can diversify Hawaii’s energy supplies and increase energy and economic security and sustainability. Moreover, unlike wind, solar, geothermal, or ocean energy, biofuels can be used in place of liquid fossil fuels with relatively little technology modification by transportation and power generation end users.
However, unlike other renewable resources that are generally available at low cost once production facilities are installed, bioenergy production requires significant capital investment and on-going costs to produce, collect, store, transport, and convert the biomass resource. As participants in the 2006 meetings made clear, the development of a bioenergy industry in Hawaii poses significant challenges including limited land and water resources, adequacy of labor, lack of specialized production and distribution infrastructure, potential environmental impacts, and financial risk.
Act 253 Part III
“SECTION 4. (a) The department of business, economic development, and tourism shall develop and prepare a bioenergy master plan in consultation with representatives of the relevant stakeholders. The primary objective of the bioenergy master plan shall develop a Hawaii renewable biofuels program to manage the State's transition to energy self-sufficiency based in part on biofuels for power generation and transportation. The bioenergy master plan shall address the following outcomes:
- Strategic partnerships for the research, development, testing, and deployment of renewable biofuels technologies and production of biomass crops;
- Evaluation of Hawaii's potential to rely on biofuels as a significant renewable energy resource;
- Biofuels demonstration projects, including infrastructure for production, storage, and transportation of biofuels;
- Promotion of Hawaii's renewable biofuels resources to potential partners and investors for development in Hawaii as well as for export purposes; and
- A plan or roadmap to implement commercially viable biofuels development.
(b) The bioenergy master plan shall address the following issues:
- Specific objectives and timelines;
- Water resources;
- Land resources;
- Distribution infrastructure for both marine and land;
- Labor resources and issues;
- Technology to develop bioenergy feedstock and biofuels;
- Financial incentives and barriers and other funding;
- Business partnering;
- Policy requirements necessary for implementation of the master plan; and
- Identification and analysis of the impacts of transitioning to a bioenergy economy while considering applicable environmental concerns.
(c) The department of business, economic development, and tourism shall submit an interim report of its progress, including any proposed legislation to facilitate the finalization of a master plan or support preliminary findings to accelerate the implementation of a bioenergy future for Hawaii, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2008. The department shall submit a final report, including the bioenergy master plan, as well as any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2009.
SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $300,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007-2008 for the development and preparation of a bioenergy master plan that will set the course for the coordination and implementation of policies and procedures to develop a bioenergy industry in the State.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this part.”