New report shows Colorado has much to gain from continued investment in wind power

Media Releases

Media Contacts
Anneli Berube

Environment Colorado

Boulder, CO – Wind energy is on the rise in Colorado and is providing significant environmental benefits for the state, according to a new report released today by Environment Colorado. Colorado’s wind energy is already displacing more than 3 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution, which is the equivalent of taking over 700,000 cars off the road. Wind energy is also saving more than 1.5 million gallons of water per year, which is enough to meet the needs of 36,990 people, or over a third of Boulder’s population.

“Wind energy has done a lot for the state of Colorado already,” said Anneli Berube of Environment Colorado. “Now our state and national leaders need to take action to make sure we continue to reap the benefits of this industry.”

Thanks to its current and future carbon-displacement benefits, wind power is a key component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the carbon pollution fueling global warming by 17 percent by 2020. The plan calls for an expansion of renewable energy, investment in energy efficiency, and the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants. This plan is significant for Colorado, given the extreme weather events that have swept the state, and particularly Boulder County and the surrounding area, recently. Global warming is making extreme weather events like wildfires and storms more frequent and more severe.

“Boulder County has suffered firsthand the impacts of extreme weather, from intense wildfires like the Fourmile Canyon Fire in 2010, to the recent flooding caused by a 1000-year rainstorm,” said Elise Jones, Boulder County Commissioner. “We need to do whatever we can to reduce carbon pollution so that disasters like these—or worse—don’t become our new normal.”

The report shows that wind energy is now providing 6,045,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in Colorado, which amounts to be 11 percent of the state’s electricity. If state and federal officials commit to continued progress, Colorado could displace the carbon pollution equivalent of more than 584,467 passenger vehicles, and save enough water to meet the annual needs of nearly 32,432 people.

“Wind power has provided major economic benefits for Colorado, employing more than 4,000 workers in 17 factories, paying $7.5 million to landowners who lease their property for turbines, and attracting more than $4 billion of capital investment to the state,” said Anna Giovinetto, VP of Corporate Affairs for RES Americas, one of the top renewable energy companies in North America, with an office in Broomfield. “The environmental benefits are also significant in both the amount of water saved and the carbon emissions reduced by using wind power instead of fossil fuels.”

Colorado’s recent progress on wind is the direct result of Colorado’s strong renewable energy standard and federal incentives for wind power. Despite the clear benefits of wind and widespread bipartisan support for federal policies to promote renewable energy, fossil fuel interests and their political allies have vigorously opposed these initiatives.

The main federal incentives for wind – the investment tax credit (ITC) and the production tax credit (PTC) – are currently set to expire at the end of 2013.

“Wind energy is improving our quality of life in Colorado,” said Berube. “We cannot let polluters and their allies stand in the way of furthering the promise of wind. We applaud Senator Udall and Congressman Polis for leading the charge supporting critical incentives and urge them to do whatever it takes to get federal wind incentives extended before the end of the year.”


Environment Colorado is a statewide, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.