New report finds Arizona renewable energy standard provides significant economic and environmental benefitsCeres
Arizona’s renewable energy standard has been instrumental in scaling investments and driving down the cost of renewable energy across the state to the benefit of Arizona’s utilities and ratepayers, according to a first-of-its-kind report released today by the nonprofit organization Ceres and its consultant, Strategen.
The report, Arizona Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff: 2020 Progress Report, calculated the economic benefits of Arizona’s 2006 Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST), which requires 15% of Arizona’s energy come from renewable energy resources by 2025.
Since 2006, REST has delivered significant benefits to Arizona utilities, companies and residents in the form of avoided energy and generation costs, water savings, pollution reduction, technology cost reductions and new jobs. Analysis shows that REST has led to more than $1.5 billion and $469 million in gross benefits for the public and customers of Arizona Public Service (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP), respectively. Combined, APS and TEP provide nearly half of the state’s retail electricity sales.
Other benefits from the program to date include:
- $11.62 billion in solar-industry investments, which has stimulated job growth and market development;
- A 3% reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions, leading to improvement in air quality and public health; and
- Savings of 7,129-acre feet of water annually, enough water to serve the needs of nearly 44,000 Arizonans each year.
Expanding REST to require 45% renewable energy in Arizona by 2030 would help the state build on this success by generating an additional billion dollars in net benefits over the next 10 years.
“This report confirms what companies across the U.S. have known for years: investing in renewable energy is a cost-effective way to meet their energy needs and drive economic growth in local communities,” said Alli Gold Roberts, director of state policy at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization working with major investors and companies in Arizona. “Under REST, Arizona’s early and sustained investment in renewable energy has resulted in these resources being one of the lowest cost available today. Now is the time to double down on these investments by expanding REST to ensure Arizonans continue to reap the benefits of a clean energy economy.”
Major companies in Arizona—including Ball Corporation, ON Semiconductor, Recleim, Schneider Electric and others—previously shared their support for a strong, enforceable REST and electric energy efficiency standard (EEES) earlier this year.
“By enabling investment in renewables and energy efficiency, the REST and EEES can drive economic growth for Arizona,” the companies wrote in a letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission. “States with robust clean energy standards create policy certainty—attracting companies seeking to make long-term investments consistent with their sustainability and financial goals.”
The Arizona Corporation Commission is currently considering proposals to update REST, as well as numerous other Arizona energy policies.
“This report substantiates that REST has yielded significant economic and environmental benefits to Arizona,” states Ed Burgess, senior director at Strategen and lead author of the report. “Going forward, we expect the benefits of deploying additional renewable energy will significantly exceed the costs if implemented in a smart and strategic manner. Over the last several years Strategen has been working to identify opportunities to expand Arizona’s clean energy economy while providing long-term benefits to customers. We hope to see Arizona continue its efforts toward becoming a national leader in clean energy and in doing so, build a robust economic engine for the state.”
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.
Strategen is a mission-driven professional services firm that specializes in strategies for decarbonized energy systems. Strategen works across the energy sector ecosystem with public sector leaders, global technology corporations, utilities, NGOs and project developers to help them achieve their clean energy goals via the firm’s synergistic platforms of consulting, association management, and events. www.strategen.comAll Press Releases