I am writing in response to an article published in your paper on Dec. 8, 2018 by Jonathan Duhamel in which Mr. Duhamel recommended that Arizona repeal the renewable energy standard of 15 percent by 2025.
The thrust of Mr. Duhamel’s assertions appear to rely on an article he wrote more than five years ago in which he argued that solar and wind were more expensive than conventional generation. While these assertions were mostly in error in 2013, they are wildly outdated and out-of-step with the trends in today’s marketplace.
It’s important to recognize the changing economics in the clean energy space. Today’s transition from fossil fuels to clean sources makes sense – not only from an ideological perspective, but also from a fiscal one.
The price of solar and wind has come down so rapidly in just the past few years that it is now as affordable, or in many cases, less expensive than gas and coal.
Recently, the financial advisory firm Lazard, Inc. issued an analysis confirming the unsubsidized costs of electric power from renewable sources of energy “are already cheaper than fossil fuels, and prices keep plunging.”
This transition to clean energy sources is happening all over the country, regardless of whether you live in a red, blue or purple state. Why? Because it has nothing to do with political ideology and everything to do with saving money for consumers, businesses and ratepayers.
Arizona was the first state to adopt a renewable energy standard in 2000, which was updated it in 2006. However, today every state surrounding Arizona have goals of 50% or more while we lag with a 15% goal.
Let me give you a real-world example of cost savings: I purchased solar panels last year because my APS bills kept getting more expensive. My electric bill in August 2017 was $366.00 for two people. After my solar was installed, my bill went down to $32.00. I love getting electricity from the sun which is very abundant in Arizona. The solar installation was a no hassle experience and no maintenance is required. I might add that my solar has produced zero emissions and indeed has avoided tons of carbon emissions.
Solar panels are guaranteed by the manufacturers for 25 years but are expected to last for 50 years or more. Solar panels installed in the 1980s are still performing very well and they are made from totally recyclable materials.
Arizona should take advantage of its ample solar resources and save consumers money. Our existing renewable energy standard of 15 percent helps – and a greater percentage would be even better for ratepayers.