Arizona Public Service (APS), the largest utility in the state, announced yesterday that the company will be transitioning to sourcing 100% clean, zero-carbon electricity by 2050. The goal includes a nearer-term target of achieving 65% clean energy by 2030, with 45% of the company’s portfolio coming from renewable energy. The company currently sources about 13% of its electricity from renewables.
This is the first decarbonization goal that APS has ever set, making it one of the last in the country to do so.
In fact, prior to this announcement, APS actively worked against previous measures to raise the statewide Renewable Energy Standard.
This decision by an operator of the nation’s largest nuclear plant and one of the last utilities without a carbon reduction goal drew excitement from renewable energy proponents and climate conservationists alike.
“We welcome this decision by APS to greatly increase its use of renewable energy over the next decade and to commit to 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2050,” “This important step by APS will benefit ratepayers, as renewable energy continues to be less expensive than fossil-fuel generation. At the same time, reducing the carbon emissions that drive climate change will result in better air quality, fewer climate costs and risks, and a healthier environment in Arizona, now and for future generations.”
And while the announcement has been met with overall praise, that praise does not necessarily come from the structure of the carbon-reduction goal, but rather that the utility established one in the first place. Sierra Club notably outlined some shortcomings in APS’ announcement:
APS made no mention of what support it would provide communities that are impacted by coal retirements. Two weeks ago, Tri-State Generation and Transmission committed $5 million to the New Mexico community impacted by the closure of Escalante and plans on working with the state to support the community.