Nick Dranias

Competition, innovation key to supply Arizona's future energy needs

Posted on November 12, 2009 | Author: Nick Dranias
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Arizona’s consumption of electrical power has been growing at about three times the rate of the United States’ as a whole. Unless we open the market to let more suppliers in, Arizonans will be at risk of electricity shortages, spiraling prices and miss out on the benefits of innovation in renewable energy spurred by competition for their business. That’s why the Goldwater Institute recommends restructuring Arizona’s electricity markets for competition.

Restructuring would rewrite the regulations governing Arizona’s electricity market and allow for competition among generators, distributors and retailers of electricity. It would allow entrepreneurs to open new businesses to produce, distribute, and sell electricity. The competitive electricity market in Texas increased generation capacity by 35 percent from 1998 to 2006. In Britain, a similar expansion in capacity ultimately lowered rates 30 percent in 10 years.

Restructuring will also give customers who want to buy and use green energy the freedom to do so. Right now in Arizona, there are homebuilders who want to create green subdivisions which generate and supply their own renewable electricity. Restructuring would make this possible.

Today three experts on electricity restructuring will be at the state Capital to talk about how Arizona could begin a restructuring process and how restructuring could encourage the use of more renewable energy. The discussion is open to the public and we encourage you to join us:

Date:         Thursday, November 12, 2009
Time:        10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Location:  Arizona State House of Representatives, Hearing Room 3, 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix

A successful restructuring effort will unleash entrepreneurs to freely generate more electricity to meet demand and to innovate in developing energy sources of all types, especially green, while maintaining stable prices. Restructuring, when done right, has never failed, indeed it has been successful in Texas, Pennsylvania and Britain. It will succeed here too.

Nick Dranias holds the Goldwater Institute Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan chair for constitutional government and is the director of the Institute's Dorothy D. and Joseph A. Moller Center for Constitutional Government. This article first appeared in the Arizona Republic.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: Opening the Grid: How to Recharge Arizona’s Electricity System for the 21st Century

Arizona Republic: It's time to rethink electricity

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