Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable energy resources are constantly replenished and will not run out for millions of years. These sources can be harnessed to generate electricity, thus meeting our energy needs for years to come.
Currently most power plants rely heavily on coal, oil and natural gas to generate our electric energy. Unfortunately, these fossil fuels are finite resources will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve.
Many people see renewable resources as a practical solution to this dilemma. By utilizing renewable energy resources, we can decrease our dependence on foreign oil and address the environmental concerns associated with traditional electric generation, such as pollution and greenhouse gas. Renewable energy sources are key to a sustainable energy future.
Arizona is on the leading edge of this movement. Arizona utilities and their customers are making a concerted effort to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable resources as opposed to fossil fuels. In fact, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is finalizing a Renewable Energy Standard that will require the state’s regulated electric utilities to generate 15 percent of their power from Renewable resources by 2025.
Of all the Renewable Energy resources, the sun is the most abundant in Arizona. While solar generation initially is the most costly renewable technology, solar energy is the primary focus of most Arizona electric companies. In 2005, Arizona utilities and their customers had installed more than 12 megawatts of solar generation capacity, and the sky is literally the limit for future solar possibilities.
Wind is renewable energy resource with a lot of potential in Arizona, particularly in the northern part of the state. It is estimated that up to 25,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity could be installed in Arizona over the coming years.
Hydroelectric power, energy generated by the force of moving water, is both inexpensive and abundant. Salt River Project has several facilities across the state that generate electric power in this manner.
Biomass, which refers to electricity generated using animal, forest, or agricultural waste, also has a bright future in Arizona. In 2005, some 10 MW electricity generation using biomass was in operation in Arizona. It is estimated that 100 to 300 MW of electric generation capacity using biomass could be added to Arizona’s resource mix in future years.
Although it is highly efficient and comparatively inexpensive, even less capacity exists in Arizona for Geothermal power. However, many companies are researching this technology in locations across the state, including the Morenci area.
For more information on Renewable Energy sources follow these links:
SRP Renewable Energy Links http://www.srpnet.com/environment/renewable.aspx