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New report: Arizona ranks among national leaders in solar growth

Decade-long analysis details dramatic clean energy growth in Arizona and nation
For Immediate Release

MESA, Ariz. - Arizona ranks fourth in the nation for growth in solar power generation since 2011, according to a new report released today by Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center. Renewables on the Rise 2021: The rapid growth of renewables, electric vehicles and other building blocks of a clean energy future documents the growth of six key clean energy technologies across the U.S. over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and heat pumps. Arizona has seen an almost 19-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun since 2011. This analysis comes as leaders in Congress work to advance legislation that would deliver historic investments in the nationwide transition to clean power. 

“It’s amazing the difference that good policy and a decade can make,” said Emma Searson, 100% Renewable Campaign director with Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center. “Arizonans can look forward to a cleaner, healthier future, thanks to the Arizona Corporation Commission’s previous Renewable Energy Standard and the rapid adoption of abundant, renewable power from the sun that it helped to spur.” 

Beyond top-ranking growth in solar energy, Arizona is also among the top ten nationwide in battery storage growth over the past decade, coming in at number eight. Improving technologies and falling prices have played a key role in driving adoption, according to the report. 

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the research also details the rapid gains achieved nationally over the past decade. According to the report, America produced almost four times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind in 2020 as in 2011. Additionally, if wind, solar and geothermal generation continue growing at the same 15% annual rate, renewables could meet the nation’s electricity needs by 2035. 

“Millions of Americans and Arizonans are already reaping the benefits of the dramatic clean energy progress we’ve made so far,” Searson said. “But, there’s so much more to do to transform the vision of 100% clean and renewable energy for Arizona - and America - into a reality. Commission actions including passing new and improved Energy Rules and joining the nine other states that have committed to 100% clean or renewable power could help advance renewable energy in Arizona during the decade ahead.”