Environment Colorado: 20% Solar By 2025
Funny how sometimes a seemingly negative event can have positive effects. Case in point: our primary credit card was one of many recently compromised, resulting in a new credit card number. Today I was on the phone with Jeanne Bassett of Environment Colorado to update our credit card information for our monthly donation to this organization. The business part was done quickly; Ms. Bassett asked if I had time to talk a bit about what Environment Colorado is doing. After years of supporting just by having a payment deducted from my credit card, I had a fascinating 15 minute conversation which resulted in increasing our donation, signing a petition to our governor about solar power, listing Telluride Inside… and Out as a media outlet, and posting this press release from Environment Colorado. If it also results in some of TIO’s readership supporting Environment Colorado, so much the better. Find the full Solar Report on Environment Colorado’s website.
DENVER, COLORADO –Solar power is growing so fast in Colorado that goals once considered ambitious are now seen as readily achievable, according to a new report by Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center.
“We can get to 20% solar in Colorado by 2025 if we just keep our foot on the accelerator,” said Kim Stevens, Campaign Director of Environment Colorado. “That’s a small fraction of what’s possible, but it will make a big difference in the quality of our lives and the future of our planet.”
The group’s researchers found that solar has grown 44% in recent years. Even if this pace slowed to 30%, solar could still generate 20% of Colorado’s electricity in just over a decade— a goal once thought improbable by many.
Achieving this target, the report said, would cut as much carbon pollution as 1.6 million cars emit in a year, and put Colorado more than halfway to the benchmark set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires cuts in power plant carbon pollution of 35 percent.
Solar is currently the fastest-growing industry in the country, adding 143,000 jobs nationwide in 2013. According to the latest solar jobs census from the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employed more than 3,600 people in Colorado in 2013.
The report quantifies the state’s enormous solar energy potential using data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Already, the state is home to more than 500,000 residential and commercial rooftops that could host solar panels, and it has enough technical potential to meet the state’s energy needs 360 times over.
“When it comes to solar energy, the sky’s the limit,” said Stevens. “Getting to 20% solar is the just the first step to a future powered entirely by pollution-free energy.”
Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center is a statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.Environmentcoloradocenter.org
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