(April 24) – A bill that will grow Colorado’s renewable energy industry and create jobs across the state passed the House Transportation & Energy Committee today by a vote of 8 to 5.
SB13-252, sponsored in the House by Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) and Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver), will make numerous changes to the Renewable Energy Standard (RES). First, it increases the RES from 10% to 25% by 2020 for cooperative electric associations that provide wholesale electricity in Colorado and large cooperative electric associations that provide services to at least 100,000 meters. The bill also expands the definition of eligible energy resources to include coal mine methane and synthetic gas produced by a process known as pyrolysis of municipal solid waste.
“This bill will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, clean our air and create jobs, particularly in rural Colorado,” Speaker Ferrandino said. “This is a clear signal that Colorado remains a leader in clean energy, which will attract new investments and create jobs across Colorado.”
It is estimated every time a job is created in the renewable energy sector, it spurs an additional 4.8 jobs in industries such as manufacturing, trucking and the service sector. This bill compliments the existing 10% by 2020 RES for other electric cooperatives and municipally owned utilities, and the 30% by 2020 RES for Colorado’s investor-owned utilities.
“If we can start to diversify our economies in these rural areas, Colorado as a whole will be better off,” Rep. Duran said. “Rural Colorado has some of the best renewable energy opportunities across the country, and this will provide a stronger economy and cleaner air and water and a healthier environment for people and communities throughout Colorado.”