In 2020, the raft of bills passed by Colorado legislators the previous year began altering the state’s energy story. Then, the markets and economy were ravaged by the effects of COVID-19. 2021 will be a fascinating year in the Colorado energy sphere. Here are the stories to keep an eye on for the coming year:
Colorado’s oil and gas industries — no strangers to booms and busts — have experienced historic disruptions due to COVID-19.
City closing two coal-fired plants and replacing with natural gas as bridge to renewables
The coal-fired Martin Drake power plant is set to be decommissioned by 2023. (Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities)
Colorado Springs significantly moved up the goal to decommission the Martin Drake coal plant downtown from 2035 to 2023 and is aiming to reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030 and by 90 percent by 2050.
The full plan to overhaul the plant tops $1 billion in budget and will involve using natural gas to bridge the gap to more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, as well as upgrading the city’s electrical grid.
Colorado-based company M-Cycle asserts their technology can be used in several applications, upending various industries
As summers become more sweltering, homeowners are turning more and more to air conditioning to keep cool. But that cool air comes with a price.
Colorado urges residents who struggle to pay heating bill to ask for help
By Karen Antonacci
The state is urging Coloradans to ask for help with heating bills to avoid going cold this winter. Applications for the 2021 Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program are now open.
The Colorado Solar & Storage Association (COSSA) will hold a unique virtual event focused on solving industry professionals’ problems on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
The Clean Energy Solutions Summit is billed as the “Mountain West’s premier event for municipal, commercial and nonprofit energy management and sustainability leaders and decision-makers” to brainstorm about practical solutions to sustainable energy challenges, according to COSSA’s event website.
Photo by Pok Rie from Pexels
Click below for a thorough explanation of Boulder’s attempt to create its own, city-owned electric utility by buying the existing system from Xcel Energy, expertly reported by Shay Castle at Boulder Beat.
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Welcome to Empowering Colorado – a new addition to Colorado’s media landscape. Unlike many of the traditional media outlets you may be familiar with, Empowering Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit news organization. We are mission-driven and part of a trend within journalism to encourage better and more comprehensive coverage of complicated topics – such as energy development.
We will not only present on our own platforms, but we will also engage with local media around the state and offer resources to enhance their coverage of energy issues in their communities. Whether the issues we cover involve business, technology, public policy or environmental impacts, Empowering Colorado will act without fear or favor to build trust in accordance with the following principles:
Independence: we are an unbiased voice in the energy media landscape not beholden to political parties, media conglomerates or big business interests. Transparency: we will be funded by donations, sponsorships, subscriptions, advertisements, events and partnerships. We will be clear about what is sponsored content and what is not and disclose our biggest funders on the website. A forum for discussion and education: we will improve the energy conversation in Colorado and provide citizens, public policy-makers, business executives and advocates with the information they need to make informed energy decisions. Filling a gap in local journalism: we will provide an avenue for talented journalists to promote their best work in energy reporting to an engaged and educated audience.
The media landscape is changing and a significant contributing factor of that evolution has been the introduction of nonprofit news. Over the past decade, nonprofit news has entered the media industry by providing original, in-depth reporting and, in our case, single-subject news.
Consider that Colorado legislators last year adopted some of the deepest decarbonization goals in the country. A reflection of a rapid shift of Colorado’s electorate? Not at all, reported Joshua Low of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Curated Related News – The Denver Post – Bill Ritter, Jr.
Ritter and Highley: Colorado’s Tri-State has a bold new renewable energy plan
Curated Related News – Futurism.com
A new website, “NotRealNews.net,” uses artificial intelligence to populate what resembles a news site’s home page, complete with AI-written fake news stories. Read more: https://futurism.com/site-ai-generate-fake-news-articles
Curated Related News – New York (CNN Business)
In another sign of the growing financial crisis in print journalism, McClatchy (MNI), the owner or 30 US newspapers, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/13/media/mcclatchy-bankruptcy/index.html
Curated Related Content
Colorado would require natural gas utilities to integrate renewable energy under a far-reaching bill introduced in the state legislature.
Senate Bill 20-150 would require Public Service Co. of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, to use 5% renewable natural gas by 2025 and 15% within a decade.
Energy Researchers at Colorado State University are working with companies and government officials to bring electricity to remote regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.
CSU Senior Research Associate Dan Zimmerle demonstates how methane emissions testing is cunducted at the the Methane Emissions Testing Evaluation Center (METAC) at Colorado State University. Video by Mark Roberts
Just east of the mountains that make up Northern Colorado’s Front Range lies an array of pipes and pumps churning out natural gas.
A student conducts research on algae at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Photo by Ethan Green.
July 19, 2017
As a long-time journalist and utility industry professional communicator in the Rocky Mountain region, I have for many years watched with concern the contraction of our print and broadcast
newsrooms, and in turn solid news media coverage of my industry. It is truly amazing how little thought is given to content these days, and how our society has begrudgingly accepted this condition.
March 25, 2017
Reliable, accessible and affordable energy to power our homes, businesses and how we get around is the foundation of modern life. Right now, where that energy comes from, how it’s made, moved, and paid for, are all in flux.
March 18, 2017
As a media relations professional in the oil and gas industry, I greatly value a strong, independent media covering the industry. It’s my professional responsibility to act with transparency and honesty in communicating about my company and industry.
Leaders from across the energy spectrum gathered at the Global Energy Forum in Beaver Creek where they called on lawmakers to level the playing field and build stability in the marketplace.
A Colorado manufacturer of wind-power generators was selected to provide up to 1,000 wind turbines for a proposed wind farm in Iowa.
The prolific Mancos Shale formation in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin is now said to hold 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to a newly released study by the US Geological Survey.
Following in the footsteps of public utilities across the U.S., Xcel Energy is proposing rate changes that the utility says will bring it into lockstep with a changing energy landscape. But the rate changes are drawing the ire of the solar industry in Colorado who say the changes do not encourage homeowners to embrace clean energy technologies.
If you want to get someone’s attention, raise the price. We’re not sure where that came from but it is certainly the case here in Colorado.
Veteran Colorado energy reporter, Mark Jaffe, says despite the work of the governor’s Oil & Gas Task Force, local controversy will likely continue over any company plans for new wells. Such conflicts reflect the “fundamental conundrum,” Jaffe says, of who decides where drilling can take place.
Colorado’s largest utility is proposing significant changes in how customers are billed for electric power. XCEL says rates must change with the times while the state’s solar industry says the plan punishes efficiency and renewables.
Former Denver Post Energy Reporter Mark Jaffe reacts to recent comments by Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump about energy development. Jaffe also reacts to comments by Democratic Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about their energy policy.
Danielle Leighton joins Empowering Colorado to discuss her team of software developers who won Colorado’s GoCode competion. Her team developed software that provides information about drilling regulations required at potential drilling sites.
Solar power in the US is reported to have breezed past the 1 million solar installations milestone two months ago. Once called “bling for greens,” an array of solar panels visible on the roof of a home is no longer unusual.
Walk before you run. Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Colorado has a rich history of energy development. Over the past 100 years, it has tapped into its abundant natural resources to become a leader in oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar and energy technology.