Ritter signs historic renewable energy bill, increasing standard to 30% by 2020
Legislation will create thousands of new jobs and require nearly one-third of Colorado’s electricity come from sustainable renewable energy sources
Gov. Bill Ritter today signed into law landmark legislation that gives Colorado the highest renewable energy standard in the Rocky Mountain West, requiring that 30 percent of electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2020.
House Bill 10-1001 – sponsored by Rep. Max Tyler and Sens. Gail Schwartz and Bruce Whitehead – will create thousands of new jobs, lead to 100,000 solar rooftops over the next decade, and help protect consumers and ratepayers.
“Today we continue to chart a new course for Colorado’s New Energy Economy and America’s clean energy economy,” Gov. Ritter said, signing the bill at SolSource Inc., a Denver-based solar installation company. “Colorado is giving every state and the entire nation a template for tomorrow. This is a game-changer. We are transforming the future of Colorado and our country.”
Gov. Ritter also thanked Excel Energy for its continued leadership and partnership in building Colorado’s New Energy Economy.
In 2004, Coloradans passed Amendment 37, which set the country’s first voter-approved renewable energy requirement at 10 percent by 2015. In 2007, Gov. Ritter and the legislature doubled the requirement to 20 percent by 2020. Twenty-nine states now have renewable energy requirements.
The 30 percent requirement in HB 1001 is the best in the Rocky Mountain West and among the highest nationally.
HB 10-1001 also calls for 3 percent of the standard to be met by local solar power. This solar distributed generation will encourage clean, renewable local power without expensive new transmission lines to be built and create thousands of Colorado jobs.
“With HB 1001 we will manufacture and install panels and turbines all over Colorado to capture free energy,” said Rep. Tyler said. “The sun will always shine for free, the winds will always blow for free, and our energy production will be cleaner. Renewable energy, green jobs, and a cleaner future — what’s not to like?”
“It was extremely gratifying to sponsor HB 1001,” Sen. Schwartz said. “I have been a strong advocate for renewable energy throughout my career because I see the advantages it brings to Colorado. This bill will attract hundreds of companies, create thousands of jobs, and ensure these are the kind of companies and the kind of jobs that will build Colorado’s economy for years to come. HB 1001 will create a diverse portfolio of energy resources to keep energy affordable in the long term, and keep Colorado leading the country in renewable energy and economic recovery.”
“Encouraging green energy in Colorado is not only an investment in the beauty and health of our state but also in our economy,” Sen. Whitehead said. “Renewable energy will create thousands of jobs for Coloradans and get our state back to work. We have attracted over 230 solar companies to our state already, and passing HB 1001 to increase our renewable energy standards will only continue this trend.”
“Today we’ve truly hit it out of the park, taking Colorado’s vision for a new energy future to the big leagues,” said Pam Kiely program director with Environment Colorado. “Over four short years we’ve tripled our commitment to renewable energy, and by taking a bold swing at the time when our energy challenges are the most profound we’ve proven to the nation that Colorado can step up to the plate and deliver.”
“This bill will boost the New Energy Economy and grow Colorado’s renewable energy markets,” said Mary Broderick, renewable energy and marketing agent with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 68, which will help train a new generation of solar installers. “This new law will provide safe, quality photovoltaic installations and create green careers for Colorado’s working families.”
“We view House Bill 1001 as an significant step forward in helping Coloradans achieve greater access to clean energy sources like solar and wind,” said Jeff Scott, founder and president of SolSource Inc., a leading solar energy engineering, procurement and construction firm based in Denver. “As a longtime supporter of renewable energy, we are very proud to operate a solar energy business in Colorado, a state that is known for its abundant natural resources and talented workforce. We will be training and employing 20 to 30 new people in the next 30 days and see today’s signing by Gov. Ritter as a commitment to supporting Colorado clean tech jobs.”