Arizona Activists Preserve Green Energy Standards

An effort to reduce renewable energy mandates imposed on Arizona utility companies was defeated by green power activists this week, according to Greentech Media, an eco-friendly news source.

The proposal, which was supported by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), a state government panel devoted to business utility issues, would have withdrawn the requirement that electricity providers utilize clean power sources for 15 percent of their total generation portfolio.

Following the announcement of the idea in January of this year, environmental advocates launched a huge outreach campaign that raised thousands of dollars and collected just as many signatures. Eventually, the proposal was dropped. 

The source reported that Arizona remains one of the nation's busiest solar power markets. The state was second only to California in terms of new installations, which numbered 63 in 2010, 273 during 2011 and an estimated 710 last year. Greentech stated that these efforts were largely due to the mandates set by Arizona energy officials.

At the heart of the argument by the ACC is that the state shouldn't put taxpayers on the hook for solar panel-related liabilities. However, environmental advocates countered that there are both short-term and long-term benefits to utilizing the sun's energy for electricity, and that demand in the state for this technology is proof of its viability.

Even former members of the state energy organization say that most people prefer having the option to choose this source of power. 

"Poll after poll shows Arizonans want more solar," Nancy LaPlaca, a previous policy advisor for the ACC, told the press. "Despite paying lip service to it, the current ACC is, according to solar developers, impeding Arizona's fledgling solar industry."

This development highlights the growing influence that solar electrical sources have in our country. Folks can support these efforts by pushing their own municipal governments to adopt comprehensive, green-focused power policies that promote independence and organic growth. 

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