Solar technology has been a catalyst for energy innovation since the 1800s when scientists first discovered that displacing electrons with light could produce electricity. What once was a pipedream with no efficient machinery to make it a feasible reality soon turned into a fully viable technology.
Today, solar has transformed into one of the cleanest forms of energy that’s getting drastically more affordable every year. Currently priced on par with older and much dirtier energy sources, solar is expected to be even cheaper than coal and natural gas within the next few years.
While this exciting journey and transformation of solar energy has been underway for quite some time, it’s interesting to take a look at solar’s influence right here in Arizona. Here are four interesting facts about solar energy right here in our great and sunny state.
1. Solar became more popular in 2006 after the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff: This jumpstarted Arizona’s solar journey. The standard required regulated utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2025 and 30 percent from renewable “distributed” sources like rooftop solar panels. Since then, SRP’s board approved in 2011 a goal of providing 20 percent of its energy from sustainable sources by 2020.
2. Arizona ranks third in the nation for solar: The state has over 3,300 megawatts of solar installed, equaling nearly 500,000 homes powered by the sun. The price of solar has declined 55 percent in Arizona over the last five years, which has resulted more and more installations, helping to produce nearly 6 percent of all electricity used in the state. There are also over 7,000 jobs in Arizona thanks to solar, ranking 7th in the nation.
3. Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson are some of the sunniest cities in the nation: Yuma is ranked the sunniest city in the country with an annual 90 percent of average possible sunshine. Both Phoenix and Tucson come in at 85 percent. With all this solar energy readily available to harness, Arizona has great potential to grow its solar portfolio even more.
4. Arizona could lead the grid modernization initiative: Arizona Corporation Commission member Andrew Tobin proposed a clean energy overhaul that would put the state in the front of the pack of renewable energy and grid modernization. The new proposal includes an 80 percent clean energy target by 2050 and a 3,000-megawatt energy storage target for 2030!
Solar technology and popularity has certainly come a long way over the years with no signs of stopping in the future. If you want to cash in your piece of the sun, contact one of our qualified sales integrators for a free, no obligation quote. We also invite you to download our complimentary whitepaper: Is Solar Right for You?