Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter today delivered the following testimony to the Senate State Affairs Committee in support of HB 1281, which would double Colorado's renewable energy portfolio to 20 percent by 2020. HB 1281 is the centerpiece of Gov. Ritter's agenda for developing Colorado's New Energy Economy. This was Ritter's first appearance as governor before a legislative committee:
"When Amendment 37 was passed in 2004, renewable resources provided less than 2 percent of the Xcel portfolio. By the end of this year, that percentage will be 10 percent.
"Colorado was the first and remains the only state in the union to pass an RPS (renewable portfolio standard) by initiative.
"The paradigm of renewable energy is changing – today, the very industries that opposed Amendment 37 are supporting doubling and expanding the standard.
"I want to congratulate the sponsors of this bill for bringing all stakeholders and interested parties to the table.
"Everyone may not get everything they want, but the bill represents a tremendous compromise on the part of all involved. That includes Tri-State, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, Xcel Energy, independent power producers, the renewable energy industry, Colorado Farmer's Union, Environment Colorado, Western Resources Advocates and labor groups.
"The result is well-crafted policy for the people of Colorado.
"What we're seeing is that the state's commitment to a strong renewable portfolio can be a catalyst for the New Energy Economy. It's already helping us attract interest from national and international renewable energy development companies:
·         BP has announced it will build one of the largest wind farms in the country in Weld County. Florida Power and Light intends to develop a wind farm in Logan County. Sun Edison is developing a solar power plant in the San Luis Valley.
·         We know this investment will pay back impressive dividends. A recent economic study shows that increasing the RPS to 20 percent would result a $1.9 billion increase inColorado's share of the gross domestic product by 2020.
"Colorado can lead the nation and the world. We have the intellectual resources, as evidenced by the new Collaboratory that brings the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado andColorado State University together with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. We have the natural resources: we're the 6th sunniest and 11th windiest state. And we have the agricultural resources to develop bio-fuels.
"This bill represents the first step of many, but an important step – in establishing Colorado as a leader through a policy commitment on the part of our state."