The current population of the “Grand Canyon State,” Arizona is approximately 7.28 million people. In March 2019, state utilities used nuclear energy (34.3%), natural gas (33.3%), coal (21.1%) and renewable energy (11.3%) to generate electricity. Solar and hydropower are the primary sources of renewable energy in Arizona.
Arizona’s use of inexpensive natural gas and renewable energy offsets the high cost of coal and nuclear energy. In March 2019, the average cost of electricity in Arizona was U.S. 12.4 ¢ per kWh, which is the 23rd most expensive price in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 12.5 ¢ per kWh.
Global warming and climate change have prompted Arizona legislators to implement legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Arizona is one of 30 states with a Renewable Portfolio Standard. The Arizona Corporation Commission mandates that all regulated utilities generate at least 15% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2025.
The Arizona Corporation Commission has recently approved a plan to expand Arizona’s use of electric vehicles (EVs). The plan includes guidelines for pilot programs that address EV infrastructure, education and outreach. The plan will include an analysis of where to locate charging stations, best practices and consumer protections, rate design, incentives and rebates, and cost recovery for the pilot programs.
In 2017, the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States were transportation (29%), electricity generation (28%) and the industry/manufacturing (22%) sectors. In the transportation sector, private and commercial cars and trucks are the primary source of greenhouse gases. Although, Arizona has been slow to move to renewable energy in the electricity generation sector, their new plan may have a very positive impact in reducing greenhouse gases.
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