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Solar news: November 13th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, a Yale study on the support of transitioning to a clean economy, and Arizona’s new carbon-free generation requirement.

Yale study finds 82 percent of voters support a transition to a clean economy

According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), climate policy is a central issue to many voters. In a recent poll, Yale found that 82 percent of voters in their study say that “…achieving 100 percent clean energy should be the primary goal of U.S. Energy policy.” Within the voters surveyed, 63 percent said that the U.S. should prioritize developing renewable energy sources to address the country’s energy needs.

“There has been a dramatic increase in public concern about climate change over the past five years,” says Ed Maibach, the director of the George Mason center, which has been conducting studies in collaboration with the YPCCC for 13 years. “Increasingly large numbers of voters are coming to understand that the best way to take action to protect our climate is to vote for candidates who will defend our climate.”

Although the 2020 election has come and gone already, it’s still worthwhile to note that 54 percent of the voters surveyed agreed that “they would be more likely to vote for candidates who support providing federal financial bailouts to the renewable energy industry.”

Arizona utility regulators approve carbon-free by 2050 plan

A few weeks ago, utility regulators in Arizona approved a plan for utilities in the state to get all of their energy from carbon-free sources (like nuclear and solar energy) by 2050. The plan brings Arizona much closer to where many other Western states already are with respect to zero-carbon planning.

Even before reaching 100 percent carbon-free power by 2050, the plan requires electric utilities to get at least half of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2035. By 2050, they will need to supply all of their customer demand for electricity with renewables, carbon-free nuclear, or energy-efficiency measures, such as subsidizing efficient light bulbs or insulation installations.

“The climate crisis is impacting Arizonans right now. I am glad the commission was finally able to look past partisan politics to support science and economics-based policy that stakeholders, utilities and ratepayers could all agree upon and benefit from,” said Sandra Kennedy, a Democrat who’s part of the Arizona Corporation Commissioners that voted for the measure.

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