July 18th, 2018 by Kurt Lowder
Denver’s Mayor, who is seeking a third term, has pledged the city will source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In doing so, Denver has become the 73rd city in the United States to commit to a 100% renewable electricity target; however, few have aimed to complete the transition so quickly. Nine other Colorado cities have made a renewable electricity 100% commitment, but of course Denver is the largest. The population of Denver is 693,060 (2016). Hopefully the entire Denver metro area with a population of 3,470,235 will follow the city’s lead.
Is this another political promise that cannot be met? The endorsement by Xcel energy would indicate that it is great policy based upon the economics alone. Colorado has an incredible combination of wind and solar resources. Only a handful of other states have similar resources. Split, by the continental divide, the eastern part of Colorado is a desert biome and has significant solar resources.
In the best regions near Denver, average winds at a height of 100 meters clock in above 10 meters per second.
This impressive combination of solar and wind requires significantly less energy storage than other states. Grid operators have become increasingly skilled at choreographing renewable energy sources. Colorado has 67 hydro power plants that supply 4% of energy needs. Three of the dams have pumped hydro capability totaling 508.5 MW. May
Mayor Michael Hancock stated, ““Climate change threatens our people directly, putting our health, environment, and economy – our very way of life – at risk.” This 2030 target is an update to the 2015 Climate Action Plan referred to as the 80×50 plan, which aims for 80% fewer emissions by 2050 based on 2005 emissions. Undoubtedly, the recent drastic declines in the price of wind power, solar power, battery storage, and energy efficiency have enabled Denver to step up its commitment to a sustainable future. Below are other crucial goals of the City’s Plan.
The secret on Denver has been out for a while as people and companies continually move there. It is quickly becoming a city of the future. They even have plans for a Hyperloopwhich CleanTechnica‘s Steven Hanley covered last year. CleanTechnica has also covered the city’s bike friendly efforts and a public/private partnership to create a microgird.
About the Author
Kurt Lowder I am a jock turned wannabe geek. I fell in love with science later in life thanks to the History Channel show the “Universe.” Having taught middle school science, I strongly feel Astronomy should be taught every year because nothing excites students more than learning about the cosmos. I became an avid cleantech fan because it gives me hope about the future. My wife, my dogs, and I live simply because we love to travel the world backpacker style.