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Percent of Electric Power Generated from Renewable Sources

Description: 

The production of electric power from renewable sources has been declining since 1997, when it peaked at 15.4% of total production. An increase of almost three percentage points to 9.0% of the total energy generated in Arizona in 2011, up from 6.2% in 2010, is the highest percentage in a decade and an encouraging sign, although it declined slightly to 7.6% in 2012. The Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST), approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2006, mandates that 15 percent of energy production in the State of Arizona produced from regulated utilities be from renewable sources by 2025. Much work needs to be done on increasing renewable energy sources in Arizona to meet this goal.

The large majority of Arizona's renewable energy is generated by hydroelectricity, which for the most part, does not satisfy the requirements of REST. Furthermore, hydroelectric production has been continuing to decrease due to the ongoing drought, and may further decrease in the future due to climate change. Solar energy and wind power could take a more prominent place in renewable energy production in the future; for the first time this year, the two power sources together provide over one percent of energy produced in Arizona and a significant amount (17.7%) of the total renewable power (including hydroelectric). Alternative energy sources reduce reliance on non-renewable resources. Use of solar, wind, biomass and other renewable energy sources represents a sustainable solution to increased demand for energy. Additionally, renewable energy produces less air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions than traditional sources such as coal.

Data Source: 

Data Source: Data were collected from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sprdshts.html, Net Generation by State by Type of Producer by Energy Source (EIA-906, EIA-920, and EIA-923).

Data Quality Comments: 

Hydro Conventional does not include pumped storage. Solar includes solar thermal and photovoltaic. Wood and Wood Derived Fuels includes paper pellets, railroad ties, utility poles, wood chips, bark, red liquor, sludge wood, spent sulfite liquor, and black liquor, with other wood waste solids and wood-based liquids. Other Biomass includes biogenic municipal solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste, agricultural byproducts, other biomass solids, other biomass liquids, and other biomass gases (including digester gases and methane). Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding.

iconPercent of Electric Power Generation in Arizona by Renewable Sources

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Visualization Notes:

The production of electric power from renewable sources has been declining since 1997, when it peaked at 15.4% of total production. In 2011, electric power from renewable sources was 9.0% of the total energy generated in Arizona, the highest percentage in a decade and an encouraging sign, although it declined slightly in 2012. The Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST), approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2006, mandates that 15 percent of energy production in the State of Arizona be from renewable sources by 2025, although, for the most part, hydroelectricity does not help to satisfy this requirement. Much work needs to be done on increasing renewable energy sources in Arizona to meet this goal.

iconGeneration of Renewable Electric Power in Arizona (Percent by Source)

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Visualization Notes:

CLICKING ON "Hydro Conventional" WILL REMOVE SERIES FROM CHART, SHOWING OTHER SOURCES

Historically, over 95% of Arizona's renewable energy has been generated by hydroelectricity. Hydroelectric production continues to decrease due to the ongoing drought and in 2012 this percentage was below 80% for the first time. Further decreases are possible in the future due to climate change. Wind energy generated in Arizona has consistently increased since coming on line in 2009 and production of solar energy made huge gains between 2011 and 2012, increasing over ten fold. Energy from wood and wood derived fuels also contributes to the mix.

Notes: Hydro Conventional does not include pumped storage.  Solar includes solar thermal and photovoltaic. Wood and Wood Derived Fuels includes paper pellets, railroad ties, utility poles, wood chips, bark, red liquor, sludge wood, spent sulfite liquor, and black liquor, with other wood waste solids and wood-based liquids. Other Biomass includes biogenic municipal solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste, agricultural byproducts, other biomass solids, other biomass liquids, and other biomass gases (including digester gases and methane). Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding.

(*) Value is less than 0.5 of the table metric, but value is included in any associated total.  
NA = No data reported.

iconPercent of Power Generated in Arizona from Solar and Wind Energy

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Visualization Notes:

Less than one percent (0.86%) of the total electricity produced in Arizona in 2012 came from solar power; however, this is over a tenfold increase from the previous year. Solar capacity is growing and a greater percentage of Arizona's electricity in upcoming years should be produced by solar power. The state’s first wind farm near Holbrook began generating electricity in 2009 and although less than one-half of one percent (0.48%) of the total energy produced in the state was from wind power in 2012, this was more than double the percentage of energy produced from wind the previous year. For the first time this year, solar and wind together generated over one percent of the total energy generated in the state (1.34%). This is still a small amount, but it is a step in the right direction.