Solar Thermal Roadmap
Colorado Solar Thermal Roadmap Presents Path for
Fueling Statewide Economic & Job Growth
(January 24, 2012) The Solar Thermal Alliance of Colorado (which includes COSEIA) released a “roadmap” report today after nearly a year of working with stakeholders throughout the state to spur investment and local economic growth.
The report provides Colorado with a new vision to make the state a global leader in solar thermal research, development, manufacturing and deployment. Solar thermal systems use the sun’s energy to provide heat for hot water in homes and commercial buildings, for space heat or to provide electricity on a utility scale.
Colorado’s Natural Advantage
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Florida Solar Energy Center, Colorado has a natural advantage in the solar industry over other states due to its dramatic daily temperature swings, abundant sunshine, cold ground water and annual heating loads. In short, Colorado is the bull’s eye of solar thermal performance in the U.S.
The Roadmap’s recommendations will facilitate dramatic progress toward goals that state leaders have articulated well for years: economic growth, energy independence, reduction in CO2 and other emissions, reduced total life-cycle costs of fossil fuels and improved state import-export balance, to name just a few.
We have set a compelling goal: to grow Colorado’s solar thermal capacity from roughly 150 MWth today, to more than 16,500 MWth by 2050.
Achieving this goal will expand Colorado’s solar thermal marketplace to more than $1 billion in annual revenue and will lower monthly utility bills across Colorado. Let’s work together to make it happen.
The Roadmap’s goals include adding more than 24,000 new jobs in Colorado by 2050, including positions in sales, distribution, manufacturing, and over 10,000 jobs in solar thermal installation.
The Roadmap also identifies a clear strategy for how Colorado can effectively reach these goals, detailing four key areas of activity:
- Increasing consumer awareness by developing consumer relationships, improving communication, and ensuring the quality delivered by the state’s solar thermal industry.
- Developing financial mechanisms through collaboration with financial institutions and the deployment of pilot financing programs.
- Leveling the state’s energy policy playing field. This effort requires balancing energy standards to include solar thermal, and creating a stable environment that encourages long-term investment, innovation, and efficiencies.
- Solving local impediments, such as development of solar friendly communities, identifying best industry practices, and creating simple, clear and consistent zoning and permitting requirements across jurisdictions.