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E&E News: Ariz. Study Renews Debate Over 100% Clean Electricity

Posted by Edward Klump on Aug 23, 2021

E&E News covered a study on clean energy out of Arizona, citing AEE's Shelby Stults on a cost-effective energy transition. Read the full story here.

A new report on the costs of possible clean energy mandates has reignited a skirmish over how fast — and at what price — major Arizona utilities should slash carbon emissions from the electricity sector.

The study from Ascend Analytics, released this month, describes clean energy progress as “achievable and cost-effective” in the state over the next two decades. But Ascend cautions that the last 10% to 20% of decarbonization comes with less certainty and potentially higher costs...

Arizona has become a bellwether in the debate over clean energy standards, both in states and at the federal level (Energywire, June 4). The ACC failed in early May to endorse a 100% clean energy standard by 2050 for major regulated electric utilities — despite a favorable vote last year that kicked off a rulemaking process...

Supporters of new energy rules continue to push for action by Arizona regulators in the wake of the new study from Ascend.

“The report shows that clean and advanced energy solutions in Arizona can be both reliable and cost-effective with today’s technology,” Shelby Stults, a principal at Advanced Energy Economy, said in a news release. “Arizona is full of potential when it comes to providing solar power, energy storage, and other advanced energy technologies.”

Members of AEE are involved in everything from energy efficiency to renewables. And Stults said the report doesn’t evaluate “how costs would increase for consumers if Arizona doesn’t take advantage of advanced energy technologies.”

Stults added, in a statement to E&E News, that projections could be misleading as to what the cost might actually be in 30 years given how numbers are presented. And she said the study relies on scenarios that were run by utilities using “black box” modeling techniques. She also said financial forecasting more than 15 years into the future is a big challenge.

Read the full story here.

Topics: Regulatory, AEE In The News