Colorado Adopts 30% Renewable Energy Standard
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter has signed a bill mandating that the state generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Ritter said the bill, which also requires that at least 3 percent of electric power come from solar projects, would create ‚Äúthousands‚ÄĚ of new jobs and 100,000 new solar rooftops over the next decade.
‚ÄúToday we continue to chart a new course for Colorado‚Äôs New Energy Economy and America‚Äôs clean energy economy,‚ÄĚ Gov. Ritter said, signing the bill at SolSource, Inc., a Denver-based solar installation company.¬†‚ÄúColorado is giving every state and the entire nation a template for tomorrow. This is a game-changer. We are transforming the future of Colorado and our country.‚ÄĚ
The new 30% renewable energy goal follows on from Colorado‚Äôs 10% by 2015 target, as adopted in 2004, and takes over from a 20% by 2020 target set in 2007. The action by Colorado brings the total of states with¬†Renewable Electricity Standards to 29, with Colorado‚Äôs 30% among the highest targets thus far. California has set the highest goal, a 33 percent target.
Sponsors of the renewable energy standard legislation said Colorado has attracted more than 230 solar companies to our state.¬†The bill states that energy will have to come from renewable or recycled energy sources to count towards the Standard. Recovered heat and energy-from-waste will count, but nuclear power will not.¬†Utilities would have to increase the proportion of electricity sourced from renewable projects from 3% in 2007 to 5% for the period 2008-2010, then requirements increase to 12% from 2011 to 2014, up to 20% for 2015 through 2019, then 30% in the years following.
Power suppliers will also have to provide a growing proportion of power from distributed generation systems‚ÄĒsmall-scale renewable projects‚ÄĒunder the Bill. This rises from 0.5% of retail sales in 2010 up to 2% from 2011 to 2014, 3% from 2015 through 2019 and 3.5% from 2020.¬†Companies will have the incentive to develop utility-scale renewable energy plants within Colorado, by being allowed to count an extra 250 watts of energy towards the Standard for every kilowatt generated in utility-scale plants located inside state boundaries.
The bill also seeks to set up a rebate program that would provide financial incentives for renewable equipment below 100 kW in scale. The rebates would be around $2 for every watt a utility customer produces above their requirements.