The report ‘Energy for Colorado's Economy’ has been released by the Environment Colorado Research and Policy Center. The report shows Colorado would experience increased economic and environmental benefits if the state were to double its use of renewable energy, such as wind power and solar power, to 20% by 2020. The report compares the economic and environmental benefits of three alternative polices on electricity production, including ‘business-as-usual’ with fossil fuel production; Amendment 37, which set Colorado's current 10% renewable energy standard; and a 20% goal being considered by the Colorado state legislature.
‘This report shows we can fulfill the Colorado Promise,’ says Gov. Bill Ritter, D-Colo. ‘By doubling our use of renewable energy to 20 percent, Colorado's gross domestic product will increase by $1.9 billion.’
According to the report, the economic benefits would come from increased manufacturing, installation and operation of renewable electricity production. Job creation was 4.3 times higher, wages paid was 2.2 times higher and an increase in gross domestic product was 1.9 times higher for a 20% renewable energy standard than under Amendment 37, the report found.
‘Increasing our use of renewable energy would bring over 4,000 high-paying, high-skilled jobs and over $570 million in wages paid to our state,’ says Ritter.
Furthermore, the report shows that a 20% renewable energy goal would result in significant reductions of soot, smog and mercury pollution.
‘We could avoid over 41 million metric tons of global warming pollution by using more clean energy,’ says Will Coyne, program director for Environment Colorado.
To view the entire report, visit www.environmentcolorado.org/envco.asp?id2=30943&id3=DO&