Renewables on the rise: Colorado among national leaders on solar energy growth, electric vehicles

Media Contacts
Sammy Herdman

Former Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America Research & Policy Center

Johanna Neumann

Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America


DENVER – Colorado ranks 7th in the nation for growth in wind energy production since 2012 and 7th and 8th for growth in electric vehicle charging ports and sales, respectively, according to a new online dashboard released today by Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center. 

The dashboard, Renewables on the Rise 2022, documents state-by-state growth of six key clean energy technologies across the United States over the past decade: wind power, solar power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations. 

“Colorado is making important progress on solar, wind and electric vehicles,”said Sammy Herdman, Campaign Associate with Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center. “Coloradans can look forward to a cleaner, healthier future, thanks to our state’s leadership in solar and wind power and electric vehicle adoption.” 

In addition, Colorado ranks 14th for growth in solar, 23rd for growth in battery storage and 10th for growth in energy efficiency. 

Colorado has seen its solar energy generation increase seven-fold and has seen a 151% increase in wind power production since 2021. Between 2012 and 2021, Colorado’s electric vehicle sales increased 19-fold and the state’s number of electric vehicle charging ports increased 35-fold.

“Colorado leads the way on wind and solar energy,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper. “Our new climate bill will help us lower energy costs for Coloradans.”

“Thank you to Environment Colorado and CoPIRG for highlighting the work our state is doing to embrace renewables,” said Colorado Energy Office Deputy Director Dominique Gómez. “From electricity generation and electric vehicles to innovation in renewable options such as geothermal and clean hydrogen, Colorado is rapidly transitioning to a clean energy economy. We will continue to push policies and programs that not only reduce emissions but also save Coloradans money.”

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the research also details the rapid gains achieved nationally over the past decade. According to the dashboard, America produced more than three times as much renewable electricity from the sun, the wind and the earth in 2021 as in 2012. 

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress this summer and signed by President Biden offers consumers tax credits and discounts on more than a dozen types of energy-saving purchases, including new and used electric vehicles, rooftop solar, geothermal heating and cooling, upgrading electric panels, and heat pump HVAC systems, water heaters and clothes dryers. Some of the credits are in effect now, and many will take effect in 2023. 

“There are a lot of opportunities for Coloradans to save money and help the environment thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Alex Simon, Public Health Advocate with CoPIRG Foundation. “Consumers can access tens of thousands of dollars in tax incentives for solar panels, heat pumps and new and used electric vehicles, saving nearly $1,000 a year on energy bills.”  

At the event, CoPIRG Foundation highlighted their online guide on the Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives that can help people save money and reduce climate pollution. They also highlighted an online tax incentive calculator developed by Rewiring America.  

Modeling by Energy Innovation found that the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act will spur clean energy and reduce pollution from fossil fuels, preventing up to 4,500 premature deaths and up to 119,000 asthma attacks annually by 2030.

“Millions of Americans and Coloradans are already reaping the benefits of the dramatic clean energy progress we’ve made so far,” Herdman said. “With federal tax credits promising to turbocharge clean energy, now is the time to transform the vision of 100% clean and renewable energy for Colorado into a reality. Moving forward, our priority should be to continue the rapid growth of our renewable energy generation and double down on our electric vehicle adoption. It’s exciting to see Colorado’s progress – we’re moving towards a cleaner future in leaps and bounds.”