Colorado will obtain 100 percent of the power on its utility grid from renewable resources by 2040, according to a new roadmap from Governor Jared Polis. The 100 percent renewable energy target was the headline policy in a series of legislative measures aimed at expanding the use of solar power, making it easier to establish electric vehicle charging sites and encouraging utilities to shutter coal plants early and replace them with green jobs.
Polis’ roadmap also contains plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the state by 26 percent by 2025 and 90 percent by 2050. Summing up the impact of the proposal, Polis says, “It means cleaner air, green jobs that can’t be outsourced, and lower electric rates, thanks to the decreasing cost of wind and solar power. And, of course, it’s about the health of our planet and about climate change, particularly in a state with climate dependent industries like agriculture and the ski industry.”
The target goals in the bills approved by Polis are voluntary rather than mandatory. This decision was welcomed by utilities and other businesses, which argue they can achieve better results with a more flexible approach. Xcel, Colorado’s largest utility, already has one of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the country, with a plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free energy across the eight states it serves by 2050.