Arizona Sees Substantial Clean Energy Gains but More is Needed to Keep the Economy Competitive and Prosperous
Sunshine is abundant in Arizona and at last we’re taking advantage of it. Our state recorded the fourth-largest increase in solar power generation from 2011 to 2020, according to a report released Nov. 9 by Environment Arizona Research and Policy Center.
Total solar generation leaped from 477 gigawatt hours in 2011 to 8,922 Gwh in 2020, a 19-fold increase. Wind generation more than doubled.
Nationally, wind, solar and geothermal generation is growing at 15%. If this rate of growth continues, renewable energy would meet all the nation’s electricity needs by 2035, according to the Renewables on the Rise 2021 report.
Arizona should play a role. The increase in solar and wind over the past decade is noteworthy and worth celebrating.
Yet there is much more to do. Wind and solar generation account for 11.7% of Arizona’s total electricity consumption. That puts us in the middle of the pack, well behind Iowa’s 69%. We trail every state that borders Arizona. With our sunshine and steady winds, we should be leaders.
The Arizona Corporation Commission is contemplating updating its clean and renewable energy rules. The sooner it joins the nine other states that have set deadlines for 100% clean energy, the sooner we can be assured of a cleaner, sustainable and prosperous future that protects the people and places we love.