In terms of renewable energy, Colorado is ahead of several states and the United States. It is estimated that about two-thirds of it will come from wind and solar energy by 2030. Energy experts say the speed at which the state can build a renewable energy portfolio depends on the cost of building and maintaining these power sources.
According to a recently released report, President Joe Biden’s government stated that in the next 15 years, 40% of the country’s electricity may come from solar energy. When Biden visited the Arvada campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Tuesday, he is expected to talk about investing billions of dollars to combat climate change as part of his “rebuild better” agenda.
Noah Long, director of the non-profit organization Natural Western Region, said that although Colorado may not reach the federal 40% solar energy usage rate—even by 2050—but by the end of the decade, it will almost certainly exceed 40% renewable energy. Usage rate. The Climate and Energy Plan of the Resource Conservation Committee.
“By 2030, I think you will see 60% to 70% renewable energy,” Long said. “The question is how to divide wind energy and solar energy.”
Robert Margolis, senior energy analyst at NREL, stated that the state is well-positioned in both categories, enough to allow Colorado to play a greater or even “super-larger” role in the development of renewable energy across the country. “The role of.
“It’s in the city center and owns land,” Margolis said. “It can play a key role.”
Long’s forecast appears to be consistent with the Colorado’s roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, which states that by 2030, up to 68% of the state’s energy may come from renewable sources—17% from solar and 51% from wind. . By 2050, approximately 85% of the state’s electricity may come from renewable energy sources (approximately 58% of wind energy and 27% of solar energy).
But Keith Hay, director of public utility policy at the Colorado Energy Office, said the state’s goal is not to invest more in solar or wind energy, but to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the most affordable and fair way.
Colorado Energy Director Will Toor said that power companies must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2030. The method of doing so is “mainly by eliminating old and expensive coal-fired power plants and using wind energy.” , Solar and battery storage instead”. “
At the end of last month, Colorado Springs Utilities converted the coal at the Martin Drake Power Plant to natural gas, but the Utilities will still burn coal at a plant in the southeastern part of the town by 2029.
Alex Baird of Colorado Springs Utilities said: “When we retire (the Ray Nixon plant), we opened the door to something that meets future needs.” “We want to make it open so we can Can find the most economical generation for our city. It may be solar energy. It may be wind…anything except thermal energy (such as coal or natural gas).”
About 6% of Colorado Springs Utilities’ electricity comes from solar energy, but once the new solar arrays are launched in 2023, this number will double-which means that the utility will use renewable energy Generate more than a quarter of the electricity.
“I don’t think we will stop there,” Baird said.
As shown in recent reports, if the Biden administration pushes more states, utilities, and companies to switch to renewable energy, Hay and Tours said that the cost of installing wind and solar infrastructure may drop. Toor said this can speed up Colorado’s existing plans and may even reduce customers’ electricity costs.
The US Department of Energy announced in March that it hopes to further reduce the cost that utilities must pay to build new solar arrays to encourage more investment, from about US$0.046 per kWh of solar energy to US$0.02 per kWh by 2030.
Colorado still has more than a dozen coal-fired power plants online. Long pointed out that Xcel Energy’s Comanche 3 power station near Pueblo is “Colorado’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.” Xcel, the state’s largest utility company, plans to completely decommission the plant by 2040.