Bringing electricity to homes, farms and businesses in rural areas is a challenge everywhere, as the infrastructure costs of connecting buildings separated by miles easily can surpass potential revenue from those services.
Indeed, this is partly why the U.S. government has stepped in to invest in rural electrification numerous times, starting with the Rural Electrification Act and the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s and still today with the Rural Utilities Service.
Worldwide, the majority of the 1 billion people without access to electricity live in rural and remote areas. It’s a problem that vastly exacerbates the economic divide.
But as Hawaii innovates to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, the state is also innovating on how to bring affordable electricity to everyone on its tropical forested islands at reasonable cost. Its state energy goals include social equity and economic justice.
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