Arizona is Vulnerable to Climate Change:
Climate change exacerbated the intense flash floods in September last year that killed at least 18 people near the Arizona-Utah border.
At present, nearly 9 percent of Arizona adults suffer from asthma. High levels of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter common in coal plant emissions, both of which are produced in tandem with other greenhouse gases, are strongly linked to a rise in asthma attacks.
Arizona is already experiencing water shortages and a prolonged drought. Climate change is expected to negatively impact the Colorado River. Water shortage will add stress to the state’s agriculture, which uses up about two-thirds of Arizona’s water supply.
Since 1970, Arizona has warmed at the fastest pace (0.639°F per decade) across the country.Dust storms and the fungal infection, valley fever, have been on the rise and this will become worse as the state warms further.
The Southwest region will be affected by reduced snowpack, water shortage, increased wildfires, sea level rise and coastal damage.
Governor Doug Ducey has publicly said that he believes the climate is changing but is ‘skeptical’ that it is caused by human activity.
Energy Efforts and Opinions in Arizona:
Sixty-four percent of Arizonan adults understand global warming is already happening and nearly half recognize that it is caused mostly by humans.
- A strong 74 percent support funding research into renewable energy resources while 64 percent favor setting strict CO2 limits on existing coal-fired power plants.
Being one of the sunniest states in the country, Arizona is a leader in solar energy. It rankssecond in the country in utility-scale installed solar capacity with 2,303 MW. In 2015, $582 million was invested for solar installations.
Arizona has an established Renewable Energy Standard that mandates sourcing 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) would require Arizona to cut 33.6 percent of its power-sector emissions by 2030. A bulk of Arizona’s net energy generation comes from coal,including Navajo Generating Station's three 750-megawatt units. Natural gas and nuclear energy are also big contributors to the state’s net energy generation.
A fourth of the electricity consumed in Arizonans homes is for air-conditioning -- four times the national average.
The state isparty to the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan and is assessing options regarding preparation of a state compliance plan.
Arizona-based Tucson Electric Power (TEP) anticipates adding 1.1 GW of new renewable capacity by the end of 2030 to meet Clean Power Plan requirements.