Ritter signs bill requiring greater use of renewable energy by 2020
March 23, 2010
Colorado, already viewed as a renewable energy leader, took another step Monday when Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a bill that will give the state the highest renewable energy standard in the Rocky Mountain West.
The measure requires that 30 percent of electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2020.
"This is a commitment to clean energy that is unparalleled in the country," Ritter said. "There is no place in the world that compares to Colorado in research and technological innovation around renewable energy."
The bill-signing ceremony was held at SolSource, a solar business in north Denver that Jeff Scott started six years ago in his garage. He now has contracts with businesses, homeowners and the
Current and former lawmakers watched, including the bill's Democratic sponsors, Rep. Max Tyler of Lakewood and Sens. Gail Schwartz of Snowmass Village and Bruce Whitehead of Hesperus.
Pam Kiely, program director for Environment Colorado, said that when she was young, people tried to predict the "amazingly cool" things that would happen in the future.
"While we aren't yet flying around in personal spacecrafts and don't have robots making us eggs and bacon in the morning, we are actually repowering our lives," she said.
Under House Bill 1001, Xcel Energy and other investor-owned utilities serving Coloradans would be required to draw 30 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, rather than the current 20 percent.
The bill also emphasizes small-scale, home-based energy production. The Governor's Energy Office has predicted the program could result in as many as 100,000 homes with solar panels, small wind turbines or other energy-producing devices.
A provision in the bill requires that solar-panel installers be certified, a move Republicans said was intended to drive business to union members.
Ritter said Colorado's reputation for being friendly to renewable energy has helped it attract companies. Oklahoma made Vestas' short list, but because it did not have a renewable-energy standard, the company walked away and became "one of the new-energy-economy pioneers" in Colorado, he said.
Lynn Bartels: 303-954-5327 or email@example.com