Yesterday, by a vote of 4-1, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted to expand the state’s renewable energy standard to 15% by 2025, with 30% of that to come from distributed generation technologies. We’re talking support for up to 2,000 MW of solar.

We’ll take that over a sack of tootsie rolls and candy corn any day.

Best moment of the meeting? Commissioner Mundell, in response to complaints by Commissioner Gleason about subsidies for renewables, got a good laugh with: “When you’re talking about subsidies and the free market, subsidies for the (traditional) energy industry would make Adam Smith spin around in his grave so much that he’d qualify as an alternative energy source.”

Indeed.

With world-class sunshine and explosive population growth, Arizona is well positioned to become a key solar market. The game’s not over yet, however. It takes more than incentives to make a sustainable solar market. The state has no regulations for interconnection standards, nor net metering. The financial incentives are the engine for solar’s development, but these policies are the road, and we need both to get to solar nirvana. We are hip-deep in Commission workshops to redress the lack, and we have also intervened in an Arizona Public Service rate case to fight a horrible net metering rider.

Onwards.