The Western Way and Arizona Technology Council Partner for Clean Energy Reform
The Western Way and the Arizona Technology Council have partnered together to compile a list of innovation and clean energy policy recommendations for Arizona’s business community to confront and combat the challenges left by the COVID-19 pandemic and aid in the fight against climate change. Representing an assortment of different businesses and organizations that are dedicated to advancing Arizona’s innovation sector, the report presents the following recommendations:
- Encourage Clean and Renewable Energy Technology Adoption: The report supports the adoption of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies, such as the new Energy Rules package, a modernized energy efficiency standard, that the Arizona Corporation Commission voted in favor of in November of 2020. If adopted by lawmakers, the new standard could provide long-term certainty needed in the market to motivate increased innovation.
- Invest in Infrastructure and Identify Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships: Investment in transportation and energy infrastructure is vital in synchronizing renewable energy technology with economic recovery in Arizona. Investments work together to actualize necessary infrastructure while creating job opportunities in the region. The report explicitly points to integrated statewide electric vehicle infrastructure as an option for Arizona legislators to consider. The report looks to public-private partnerships (PPP’s) as a way to combat the considerable costs often associated with large-scale infrastructure improvement projects.
- Plan for Long-term Integration of Hydrogen into Arizona’s Energy Portfolio and Economy: The use of hydrogen as a zero-emissions fuel source has been developed in Arizona. However, the report specifies how Arizona can support the integration of renewable hydrogen more comprehensively through the creation of a hydrogen investment capital special fund to research, develop, test and market the commercialization of hydrogen technologies. The report also suggests that the Arizona Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit be extended past 2021, and include the renewable energy created from hydrogen as eligible under the program.
- Support Policies that Encourage Advanced Manufacturing: The clean energy and advanced manufacturing sectors are imperative to Arizona’s economy. The report supports adequately funding Arizona’s universities and community colleges to establish and reinforce partnerships between advanced manufacturing and energy sectors. By designing programs in Arizona to prepare students with the skills necessary to thrive in these fields, it creates lifelong opportunities for Arizonans, while supporting the innovation and energy sectors and attracting qualified candidates to our state.
- Prioritize Clean and Renewable Energy Opportunities by Creating a State Clean Energy Innovation Office or Designated Clean Energy Innovation Specialist at the Arizona Commerce Authority
The recommendations laid out in the report are meant to serve as a guide for how policymakers can include the energy innovation sector in Arizona’s economic recovery. The innovation sector, representing industries such as clean and renewable energy technology and advanced manufacturing, as a connection between supporting Arizona’s economy and addressing climate challenges. Investment in this sector is profitable for not only the economy and could aid significantly in Arizona’s COVID-19 economic recovery, but ensures a clean and safe future for Arizona.
To learn more about the innovation and clean energy recommendations and read the full report, please click here.
As the Arizona Director of the Western Way, Managing Partner Jaime Molera convened Arizona’s Western Way stakeholders and the Arizona Technology Council to create this report.