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Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Andrew

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Colorado Solar Industry Association Readies Launch of Million Solar Roofs Campaign

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January 18th, 2013 by
 
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.

Photo credit: Namaste Solar

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.

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About the Author

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.



  • Bob_Wallace

    Colorado has a bit over 5 million people. Let’s assume for back of envelope calculations that the average occupancy of CO houses is 2.5 (roughly the US average). That suggests 2 million houses. Solar on 50% of CO houses.

    In the Budischak, et al. paper they found that the least expensive mix of wind, solar and storage involved putting solar on about 25% of all rooftops.

    Sounds like CO is on the right track. If, later on, someone does the math and finds out that they are likely to install too much they can scale back. But better to get there too early than too late.

    • Danny

      There no way that rooftop solar power will save the planet when the world is consuming more energy than ever before. Who is actually using less energy in the world?

      • Bob_Wallace

        California and a number of other states have been pretty good about reducing electricity use.

        Heating oil use nationwide is down 40% from a few years back.

        Oil for transportation use is down in the US.

        Many European countries have done better than we have.

        If you were to read the Budischak paper you’d see that we probably need to put solar on only one out of every four rooftops to get all the solar input we need. At least for the very large eastern US grid they studied.

        It’s quite doable….

      • robert

        Nobody is claiming that rooftop solar power by itself will “save the planet”. It is only one of a mixture of many kind of alternative energy. There is no reason not to take th free energy available. Furthermore, there is money in this. Solar and wind power is exploding not so much from government subsidies but because its production is becoming cheaper and cheaper and becoming more and more competitive with fossil fuels.

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