Why isn’t Arizona taking advantage of the sun?
By Solaris Liberatas
Arizona has an abundance of renewable energy, especially when it comes to solar, but has zero ambition when it comes to actually powering itself on renewables. What a waste of clean energy.
Renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, are no longer seen as the alternatives to fossil fuels, they are now seen as competitors. So why are so many states, like Arizona, dragging their feet when it comes to using the resources the planet is ready to provide?
The United States Energy Information Administration reports that in 2014, only 10 percent of the energy consumed in the United States was renewable energy. Renewable sources also generated just 13 percent of the nation’s electricity. What a tiny number in comparison to the wonderful resources that are handed to us every day. Between all the different renewable energy sources, the United States could produce enough power to run itself and then some.
Hawaii, has decided to switch things up and make the commitment to renewables. Governor David Ige has announced the plan for Hawaii to run exclusively on renewable energy by 2045. He also announced that the University of Hawaii must have a net zero carbon footprint by 2035.
In 2014, Hawaii was able to run 21 percent on renewables, a head start to their goal of 15 percent by 2015. In order to reach their goal of using 100 percent renewable energy, Hawaii will use a combination of different sources of renewable energy such as: solar panels on houses, floating wind turbines, and possibly geothermal energy that would be collected from the volcano.
On the other hand, Arizona has a goal of running on 15 percent renewable energy by 2025. A state with 300 sunny days a year, the Hoover Dam with over 1.5 million gallons of water running through it per second and a possibility of wind turbine zoning should have a much bigger percentage of clean energy usage.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) website shows that California is the number one producer of solar energy with 1.5 million homes with installed solar panes. Arizona is ranked at number five with only 35,000 homes with installed solar panels. These solar homes and the few solar plants that have been built are capable of powering 294,000 homes. Imagine what Arizona could power if it made the commitment to solar energy.