Colorado is a leader in renewable energy, with investments in wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, small hydroelectric, and other renewable energy resources increasing over the last decade. In 2004, the state passed the first voter-led Renewable Energy Standard in the nation, requiring electricity utilities to obtain a percentage of their power from renewable energy sources. The legislature has increased the minimum requirements three times since 2004, spurring the development hundreds of new renewable energy projects across the state.
Renewable energy provides substantial benefits for Colorado, including:
- Providing new electric generation that reduces the energy sector’s impact on public health and the environment
- Diversifying the state’s electricity portfolio, thereby increasing the resiliency of the electrical grid
- Insulating customers from volatile fuel prices
- Supporting jobs and economic development
Wind energy accounts for the largest percent of renewable generation in Colorado, with more than 17% of total electricity generated in the state in 2016. Colorado also is ranked eleventh in the nation for installed solar capacity, with 926 MW installed as of 2016.
Technological innovation and the reduction in manufacturing costs have positioned wind and solar resources as the most prolific and cost competitive renewable resources in the market. Most notably, wind energy has become the least cost resource for utilities building new electric generation. However, Colorado companies are continually developing other emerging renewable resources that will further diversify our electricity portfolio.
- Report of the Colorado Senate Bill 07-091 Renewable Resource Generation Development Areas Task Force
- Colorado Renewable Energy Society
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Colorado Collaboratory for Renewable Energy (Collaboratory)
- Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA)
- Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED)
- Interwest Energy Alliance
- Colorado Customer-Sited Energy Study