The Very Good News on Clean Energy

Leslie Glustrom
CRES Boulder County Chapter

There is an abundance of good news on clean energy lately. Studies for the whole planet tell us that we can move to high levels of renewable energy and programs in Boulder County can help your home and business become more efficient, adopt solar electricity and a low-cost electric vehicle.

At the national and international level, Boulder County’s own Hunter Lovins, founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, has summarized the good news in a blog entitled, “Triumph of the Sun.” Perhaps most hopeful is the fact that China increased its solar installations over 20-fold in four years and now has plans to double that capacity in 2015 alone!

Even the investment bankers are beginning to see the benefits of clean energy. As Citibank noted in their report with the subtitle, “Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth.”

The incremental costs of following a low carbon path are in context limited and seem affordable, the ‘return’ on that investment is acceptable and moreover the likely avoided liabilities are enormous. Given that all things being equal cleaner air has to be preferable to pollution, a very strong “Why would you not?” argument begins to develop.

In Texas, very Republican communities and coal dependent utilities are turning to clean energy for cost reasons alone! And around the West, we are seeing utility scale solar installations at under 4 cents per kWh—an unheard of price just a few years ago!

In Colorado, a long and hard-fought battle to protect net metering for solar energy and other forms of distributed energy was won by the clean energy advocates.

Closest to home, the City and County of Boulder have undertaken solar and electric vehicle promotions that will complement the excellent energy efficiency programs that have long been offered.

To get a preview of the solar potential for your home, you can use the new solar mapping tool developed for the City of Boulder—and if you live outside of the City of Boulder, advocate that your community adopt a similar tool.

If you haven’t already undertaken efficiency upgrades on your home or business and adopted solar electricity and an electric vehicle, this is a great time to join the clean energy revolution by signing up at the links above or finding your local solar installers on the website of the Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association.