Colorado has gained a place at the forefront of the drive to power the US on clean, renewable energy. The transition to renewable energy sources is still in its infancy, however, and the state’s solar energy industry participants are looking to add to the momentum.
The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) on Jan. 16 announced that it will present the outline of its plan to pave “The Path to a Million Solar Roofs” at the Solar Power Colorado conference and trade show at The Westin in Westminister, outside Denver, Feb. 5-6.
US Solar Energy: A Growth Curve Inflection Point?
Coloradans are reaping the benefits of collaborative pro solar, wind, clean tech policies, plans and actions that span government, commerce and industry, academia, and civil society.
Solar and wind energy installations almost doubled between 2007 and 2011, and Colorado’s become a renewable energy and clean tech hub for manufacturers and participants all along the value chain. That’s driven green job creation, and boosted tax revenues, not to mention near and long-term health and environmental benefits from reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and impacts of energy resource development.
“The Metro Denver region alone had about 1,500 companies and 18,000 workers in the cleantech sector in 2011, and achieved a 35% increase in direct employment growth since 2006,” according to one of three initial Clean Energy Economic Development Series reports on the success and benefits of renewable energy development in US states produced by the Environmental Defense Fund and Collaborative Economics.
Shooting for a Ten-Fold Increase
COSEIA is looking to keep the renewable energy locomotive going with its Million Solar Roofs campaign and 2013 Solar Power Colorado conference.
“Solar energy is now a $100 billion global industry. As Colorado pioneers its path to a Million Solar Roofs, we’re excited to bring solar executives and utility leaders together to build partnerships for future growth,” executive director Neal Lurie was quoted in a COSEIA press release.
“We are excited to outline our Million Solar Roofs campaign at the conference and to enlist industry leaders to help us flesh out the details to refine the plan for reaching this ambitious goal.”
The goal of the campaign, COSEIA elaborates, is to “provide about 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy in Colorado by 2030 through a combination of photovoltaic (PV) electric systems and solar thermal heating and cooling systems.”
To do so, COSEIA members and partners aim to “boost public outreach, utility partnerships and public-private collaborations to encourage the growth of solar energy from small arrays on homes to large utility-scale projects, and from community solar gardens to industrial rooftop projects. To reach this goal, solar would supply nearly a fifth of our state’s energy needs.”
For more on COSEIA’s Milllion Solar Roofs campaign and its plans to get there, check out this blog post by The Denver Post’s Cathy Proctor.
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.