The widespread popularity of Hawaii’s solar energy incentive — and mass confusion over how to implement it — have dealt a blow to the state’s treasury and become a major topic in state politics.
Solar is surging in Hawaii. There’s no disputing that.
Solar power installations have sprouted all across the islands, helping the state move toward its ambitious renewable energy goal and adding some 2,000 “green-collar” jobs to local economies. The projects account for an estimated 15 percent of all construction statewide.
Hawaii more than doubled its solar capacity between 2010 and 2011, making it one of the top 10 solar producers nationally. That’s an impressive feat for a small state whose solar industry barely existed as recently as 2006.