Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeOpinionColorado's vitality transition may be an financial increase

Colorado’s vitality transition may be an financial increase

Colorado lawmakers will return to the Statehouse in January with an infinite alternative to decrease vitality prices and enhance electrical energy reliability for Coloradans. Sure, inflation will probably nonetheless be excessive, however so are the alternatives for Republicans and Democrats to work collectively on the vitality points dealing with our state.

Because of new federal laws, billions in federal {dollars} and personal funding are going to move to the state, and our elected officers within the Normal Meeting, together with Gov. Jared Polis, will probably be in a perfect place to show Colorado’s clear vitality transition into an financial increase for your entire state.  

The Inflation Discount Act and final yr’s bipartisan infrastructure legislation are designed to scale back vitality prices for households and companies. Electrical energy prices have so much to do with the place we get our vitality from, and extra native clear vitality means Coloradans will probably be protected against the worth volatility related to fossil fuels.

State lawmakers and Gov. Polis will probably be tasked with ensuring as many houses, colleges, and companies as attainable use the cash within the Inflation Discount Act to undertake clear and vitality environment friendly applied sciences that preserve vitality prices low. The demand created by way of these {dollars} will make it simpler for builders and utilities to launch new clear vitality initiatives in Colorado. In the meantime, our elected officers can make certain the state’s energy suppliers are profiting from the ten years of tax-credit certainty for brand new photo voltaic and wind initiatives, which can permit for much more regular progress of low-cost renewable vitality. 

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Lawmakers within the Normal Meeting have already demonstrated the flexibility to search out frequent floor on the state’s vitality points.

Two years in the past, Colorado handed bipartisan laws designed to strengthen vitality affordability and reliability. The state has set the wheels in movement with the Colorado Electrical Transmission Authority to construct out new and up to date transmission infrastructure that can operate as a renewable vitality freeway. And by modernizing native vitality infrastructure and dealing with different states throughout the West to raised join our electrical energy system, our state is on a promising path.

Higher coordination with neighboring states won’t solely be key for delivering low-cost, dependable energy when and the place it’s wanted most, but in addition give Colorado the flexibility to promote and export extra vitality, including a brand new income supply to our economic system and retaining the lights on at a decrease value throughout excessive climate. 

This current state legislation additionally opens the door for brand new and improved financial alternatives in rural communities. Connecting clear vitality from hard-to-reach locations with energy facilities that may ship it throughout the state will translate into native jobs as we construct out the transmission strains wanted to hyperlink the 2.

These jobs will present paychecks to employees and households as a part of Colorado’s bigger clear jobs development. As of 2021, the superior vitality trade accounted for 66,000 jobs within the state. No matter what facet of the aisle they’re on, lawmakers ought to discover it straightforward to provoke round creating much more jobs. Within the coming yr, Colorado leaders can quicken the buildout of latest renewable vitality initiatives and much-needed  transmission infrastructure to spur new jobs and safe protected, dependable energy for all.

What’s extra, the Inflation Discount Act and bipartisan infrastructure legislation will spur extra funding in making our communities and our energy grid extra resilient to wildfires, extreme climate, and different emergencies. New funding for clear back-up energy sources like microgrids, vitality storage expertise, and even stored-up clear energy in electrical college bus batteries might help preserve the ability on for households and significant companies throughout any scenario.

We are able to already see how this can work. Xcel Power, which covers hundreds of thousands of vitality clients throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and the Midwest estimates the Inflation Discount Act will assist reduce the worth tag of a brand new Minnesota photo voltaic challenge by about 20 p.c and supply native jobs to a neighborhood with a closing coal plant. There’s no motive Colorado can’t profit in related methods. 

As we speak, Coloradans are dealing with rising vitality prices because of the worth of pure gasoline, which is especially excessive now however all the time risky. However with bipartisan cooperation, forward-thinking vitality insurance policies, and the incoming federal investments to assist help them, our lawmakers can decrease prices and ensure all Coloradans can faucet into the advantages of a clear vitality economic system.

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