Hundreds of pinwheels displayed to highlight support for renewable energy in Colorado

Environment Colorado

DENVER—Standing before hundreds of pinwheels outside of the Capitol Building Environment Colorado and the Sierra Club highlighted the potential and support for renewable energy in Colorado.

The pinwheels were displayed to represent the potential wind energy that could provide Colorado and the nation with electricity. Environment Colorado and the Sierra Club called on Congress to establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard requiring that utilities generate 20% of their electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020, an issue that will be debated in the House and Senate within the next few weeks.

“There is no question that America has the know-how to move beyond fossil fuels and to tap into our abundant renewable energy resources,” said Matt Garrington Environment Colorado’s Field Director. “Colorado voters have already shown their commitment to renewable energy and now Colorado can help power the rest of the country.”

By the end of this year Colorado will produce more than 10 percent of its electricity from clean, renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power. Countries like Denmark currently derive more than 20 percent of their overall electricity generation from wind power alone.

One of the most proven policies to drive renewable energy development, an RES, also known as a “renewable portfolio standard” or RPS, has been enacted in more than 20 states, including Colorado. These policies require that utilities generate a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources.

“Colorado has the 5th best solar energy potential in the nation and the 11thColorado can and will be a clean energy exporter in America’s new energy future.” best wind energy potential in the nation, ,” said Matt Garrington. “Colorado’s renewable energy standard of 20% by 2020 will create over 4,000 jobs, raise the state GDP by $1.9 billion, and increase wages by $570 million. The success of Colorado’s renewable energy standard will be multiplied with the adoption of a national renewable energy standard.

The Danish company Vestas is already planning to build a wind turbine manufacturing facility outside Windsor, Colorado. And just last month, Gov. Bill Ritter and Florida Power and Light broke ground on what will be the nation’s second largest wind farm just outside Peetz, Colorado.

With Congress seeking to address energy security and global warming this summer, there is momentum building to establish a national RES. Environment Colorado called on Congress to pass legislation to establish a national RES of 20 percent by 2020.

An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that a standard of 20 percent by 2020 would create 355,000 jobs, save consumers $49 billion on their electric bills, and direct $16.2 billion to rural communities.

Clean energy advocates are specifically calling on Colorado’s congressional delegation to join“We should heed the advice of our fellow Coloradans to act quickly at all levels of government to promote the development of clean energy like wind and solar. This will reduce global warming pollution, instead of wasting money on outdated and harmful fossil fuel technology,” said Roger Singer, Regional Representative of the Sierra Club. “I look forward to the day these symbolic pinwheels are replaced with an equal number and more wind turbines here in Colorado.”

U.S. Representatives DeGette, Perlmutter, and Udall to cosponsor H.R. 969, which would establish a 20% by 2020 Renewable Electricity Standard.