Renewable energy: The linchpin of smart-city success
Renewable energy is a powerful solution to restoring Arizona’s economic security
Arizona’s innovation ecosystem is making electric and autonomous vehicles, testing zero-emission semitrucks, building the solar grid, installing energy-efficient devices, flying electric airplanes, and making global advancements in water technology, just to mention a few examples of the clean-energy space. Although the pandemic altered the economic landscape both nationally and here in Arizona, renewable energy is a powerful solution to restoring Arizona’s economic security while moving in tandem toward a cleaner, more prosperous and healthy future.
Committed to increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the state, the Arizona Technology Council outlines the importance of renewable energy with these key benefits:
Business attraction: States with robust, clean-energy standards attract companies seeking to make long-term investments consistent with their sustainability and financial goals.
Economic development + job creation: Arizona’s clean-energy policies have delivered significant benefits to the state as reliable sources of local investments and have a proven track record of creating jobs and shovel-ready projects for local businesses. A first-of-its-kind report recently commissioned by Ceres found that from 2008 to 2018, Renewable Energy Standard Tariff (REST) gross benefits to Arizona utility customers and the public totaled nearly $2 billion.
Sustainability: The accelerating nature of digital technology has propelled cities to constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of everyday life. Renewable energy is the answer to moving toward a cleaner, more prosperous and healthy future.
Cost savings: Clean energy helps businesses save money, hedge against volatile fuel prices and stay competitive. In fact, a 2017 analysis shows clean energy saved U.S. companies nearly $3.7 billion a year, freeing up significant capital that can be reinvested into businesses, students, employees and local communities. Additionally, energy-saving efforts implemented by the state’s three largest utilities from 2008 to 2016 have created nearly $3 billion in net economic benefits, saving families and businesses money on their energy bills.
Cleaner air: Renewable Energy initiatives also have the significant added benefit of reducing harmful air pollutants and associated health costs.
Healthier citizens: Improving air quality is not only the right thing to do for public health and for Arizona communities, it also makes economic sense. Fewer instances of respiratory illness, missed days of work and hospitalizations will increase personal disposable income and help reduce the financial pressure on state-funded, health care programs.