Last week, Arizona Public Service Co. announced a goal to deliver 100 percent clean, carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050. What’s more, APS established a nearer-term 2030 target of achieving a resource mix that is 65 percent clean energy, with 45 percent of its portfolio coming from renewable energy. APS will end all coal-fired generation by 2031, seven years sooner than previously projected.
“A number of major U.S. utilities have made commitments to carbon-free by 2050, but Arizona Public Service stands out in the crowd,” says Julia Hamm, President and CEO of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). “While any carbon reduction commitment is laudable, APS is among the very small handful of utilities that have coupled their commitment with an aggressive but reasonable interim target and specific actions that demonstrate meaningful progress.”
APS’ new chief executive Jeff Guldner also made a bold announcement earlier this year that the company will not fund candidates who are running for elected office as utility regulators.
As You Sow has worked with APS over the years seeking to reduce the company’s reliance on fossil-fuel based energy, successfully reaching withdrawal agreements after filing shareholder resolutions in 2017 and 2019. As You Sow fully supports this ground-breaking announcement.
“We commend APS for this important step toward addressing its climate impact and positioning itself to thrive in the coming clean energy economy,” said Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow. “APS’ leadership shows that it is feasible for the power sector to proactively plan to transition away from all fossil fuels.”
As investors ramp up pressure on companies to address greenhouse gas emissions, utilities in turn are accelerating their climate ambitions by setting long-term, net-zero targets. Investors continue to work with those utilities to ensure that targets are followed with meaningful planning and action.
“We are pleased that APS highlighted in its announcement an expectation to move beyond natural gas and focus on renewable energy and storage,” added Holzman. “Utilities must plan well in advance and avoid investing in fossil assets with high potential for stranding.”
— Solar Builder magazine