Arizona Corporation Commission proposes 100% clean-energy standard by 2050
Arizona Corporation Commission’s proposal calls for at least 50% renewables by 2035.
Can renewable energy power the future? As fossil fuels face resource depletion, supply security, and climate change problems, renewable energy may offer the best prospects for their long-term replacement.
- The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) proposed a 100% Clean Energy Standard by 2050, a new integrated resource planning (IRP) process and other changes as part of the state’s efforts to modernize electricity regulation.
- The proposal includes a technology-neutral, all-source request for proposal (RFP) process where utilities solicit bids from market participants to address resource needs.
- Clean-energy advocates recommended an emissions-based standard that would measure carbon dioxide reduced over time.
Arizona’s renewable energy requirements were last set in 2006 at 15% by 2025, and since then utilities in the state have set goals that match or exceed the staff’s new proposed pace, according to an an article published online recently by Washington, D.C.-based Utility Dive, which provides in-depth journalism and insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping the utility industry.
In June 2020, Tucson Electric Power proposed using solar, wind and energy storage systems to reach 70% renewables by 2035. Arizona Public Service plans to deliver 100% carbon-free energy by 2050, with a near-term target of 45% renewables by 2030.
It’s important to know that even the state’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service, already took a major step forward in putting forth a goal to reduce carbon emissions, committing to 45% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050. Raising the REST to reflect these more ambitious energy rules would ensure APS’ goals become reality. It also would send a clear signal to the market and give certainty to utilities and customers in the state.
The Arizona Corporation Commission’s proposal will replace Arizona’s current Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) rules, efficiency standard and IRP process. Amendments and changes to the proposed rules are likely to occur at the ACC’s July 30 open meeting. Once proposed rules are formally issued, it will launch a 30-day comment period.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s a technology-based standard and we proposed an emissions standard,” said Adam Stafford, Clean Energy Program staff attorney for Western Resource Advocates. “Under what we proposed, you would get a clean-energy credit for producing power from wind, solar and other sources of renewable energy.”
Renewable energy is a powerful solution to restoring economic security at a time when Arizonans need it most. Instead of sinking money into a polluting and shrinking sector like fossil fuels, we should be investing in an industry that has a vibrant future. The time to invest in renewables is now, especially when our economy needs solutions so badly.