Colorado increases renewables and distributed generation requirements

Posted on March 24, 2010. Filed under: Energy Policy, Generation Plants |


While the Wisconsin legislature considers a renewable portfolio requirement of 25% by 2025, Colorado will soon have a requirement of 30% by 2020, according to an article by Kate Balbraith on a New York Times blog:

In a bid to propel his state to the forefront of the new energy economy, Colorado’s governor is expected to sign one of the most aggressive renewable energy requirements in the country on Monday afternoon.

The new law requires 30 percent of large utilities’ electricity to come from renewables by 2020. The previous requirement was 20 percent by 2020.

The higher target “will continue to position Colorado as a national pacesetter for creating jobs, strengthening our economy and protecting our environment,” wrote the governor, Bill Ritter, in an op-ed article in a Colorado newspaper on Sunday.

About half of all states in the country have renewable energy requirements, known as a “renewable portfolio standard.”

California’s rule — the most aggressive — requires big utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020, and 20 percent by 2010. However, the state is likely to fall short of the 2010 goal — showing that targets are easy to establish but more difficult to meet.

Mark Stutz, a spokesman for Xcel Energy, which serves about 70 percent of Colorado’s population, said that the utility supported Colorado’s increased target. The new law also requires that “distributed generation” — small, dispersed electricity sources — equate to 3 percent of each utility’s electricity sales.

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