As part of Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard, utilities are required to supply the grid with a certain amount of renewable energy. Their progress is measured and referred to as Renewable Energy Credits. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) decides what is and is not considered renewable energy; it seems like a simple determination to make, but apparently that is not the case.
Last year the ACC decided to give renewable energy credits to a planned trash burning facility. Last week, a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge ruled that “the commission erred and abused it discretion” in making their decision. Though it seems outdated, there are some strong arguments out there in favor of trash burning over landfills. But I think we can all agree that burning trash to produce electricity is far from what should be considered renewable energy. It may not be the worst of them, but burning trash still dirties the air, and one of the intents of our Renewable Energy Standard is to clean the air.
This was a good decision by the judge and will hopefully ensure that we continue moving forward with the advancement of innovative, clean renewable energy technology.