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Home > Energy Resources > Renewables
Renewable or Alternative Energy Sources 
 
Renewable (or Alternative) energy is energy derived from sources other than fossil fuels and nuclear.  These sources include (but are not limited to) solar energy from the sun, geothermal energy from deep within the earth, wind power, ethanol derived from plants and agricultural feedstocks, biomass from the burning of plant matter, and hydroelectric from the flow of water.  The charts in Figures 1 and 2 show the amount of renewable energy consumption in the nation's energy supply and consumption by energy source.


Renewable Energy Consumption in the Nation's Enegry Supply 2010


 

Renewable Energy Consumption by Energy Source 2006-2010



According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and Trade, Colorado has the resources to become one of the top ten renewable energy-producing states in the nation. Colorado's combination of high mountains and broad plains adds up to a bounty of renewable resources, with solar, wind, biomass, fuel cells and hydrogen all part of the emerging industry. The Colorado Geological Survey is actively involved in geothermal research and determining the resource potential of metals used within renewable energy technologies.  Colorado is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Department of Energy's premier laboratory for renewable energy research and development and a lead laboratory for energy efficiency.

Colorado is the 3rd largest producer of solar photovoltaic energy and 7th in wind production in the U.S. (2009, EIA).
Colorado is one of 18 states with a renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS).  Eligible technologies for the RPS include: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, "Recycled Energy", Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels.  In 2004, only 2.68% of Colorado's total energy was generated from renewable sources. Amendment 37, passed in November 2004, required that Colorado achieve a RPS of 10% by 2015.  House Bill 1001, signed in March 2010, increased Colorado’s renewable energy standard from 20% for Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) to 30% by 2020.  This standard is the second highest in the nation and highest in the Rocky Mountain West.  Currently, approximately 10% of Colorado's electricity generation come from renewable or alternative sources.

Colorado Renewable Energy Consumption

Electric Generation by Fuel Type

 

Last Updated: 8/8/2011 4:55 PM 
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