Monday, March 22, 2010

CCIA's Harley-LeBon and Shapard Discuss Recent Colorado Visibility Meetings in Washington D.C.

Washington DC Update – During the week of March 1, CCIA Executive Director Chris Shapard and Cherylyn Harley-LeBon, CCIA’s Director of Federal Government Relations, traveled to DC to meet with Colorado's U.S. Senators, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, GridWise Alliance, BIO and others on both sides of the political spectrum. Two days of meetings were organized with the purpose of increasing the visibility of Colorado's cleantech community. Issues discussed during the meetings included the federal funding environment for commercialization, differences between cleantech and greentech and the importance of including a discussion of oil and gas technologies in partnership with cleantech. The CCIA was roundly viewed as a credible industry voice in all of the meetings and we anticipate that there will be significant opportunity for future input and collaboration with many of the organizations.

(L-R) Cherylyn Harley-LeBon, CCIA’s Director of Federal Government Relations, and CCIA Executive Director Chris Shapard

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Colorado Senate votes to increase renewable energy requirement

"Xcel Energy will be required to use renewable energy for 30 percent of the power it delivers to customers by 2020 under a bill given almost-final legislative approval Friday by the Colorado Senate.

That’s up from the 20 percent requirement under current law and will put Colorado second only to California in the percentage of energy that utilities are required to provide from renewable sources. California requires that 33 percent of utility-delivered power come from renewable energy -- including several large hydroelectric power plants in that state.

The Senate approved the measure (H.B. 1001) on a 21-13 party line vote. Democrats supported it, Republicans opposed it.

The bill has to go back to the House for approval of minor changes made in the Senate and then will go to Gov. Bill Ritter for his signature. The bill is one of the governor’s top priorities for the 2010 legislative session.

Environment Colorado and the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association both supported the bill, and Xcel also said it supported the bill as long as it didn’t raise the two percent cap on the impact that providing power from renewable energy could have on customers’ bills."

Link to the article

Monday, March 1, 2010

Special Report: Green Technology - Can Green Technology Propel Economic Development?

Chad Vander Veen's article in the March 2010 Governing magazine includes quotes from Matt Cheroutes, CCIA Founding Board Member:

"That's the case in Colorado, where Gov. Bill Ritter ordered his Energy Office, Economic Development Office and state CIO to collaborate on ways to nurture green technology start-ups and create demand among consumers for emerging — and typically more expensive — green products.

Colorado is testing a new Discovery Grant Program designed to help early stage companies, which are often simply groups of researchers attempting to take an idea out of the lab and into the commercial market.

'At that point, there's not a lot of available seed capital. So to give them some small grants at the very beginning really shows great support from the state,' says Matt Cheroutes, director of communications and external affairs for the Colorado Governor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Cheroutes, a founding member of the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, says strong executive support for green technology in Colorado will lead to job growth and economic prosperity. But that won't happen, he says, unless companies can deliver their products to a public that can afford them — a tall order in green tech markets that are often too immature to deliver at affordable economies of scale.

Cheroutes says the state works closely with renewable energy firms to develop incentives for consumers. Take solar power, for example, where the cost of installing solar panels typically doesn't pencil out for the average homeowner.

'We've had a lot of people in our state say they want solar on their homes,' Cheroutes says. 'But they simply can't afford the initial investment to do it. We've seen estimates anywhere from $8,000 for a very small home to $15,000 for a medium-sized home. These days, not a lot of people have the ability to pay that.'

The state worked with two Colorado solar firms — SolarCity and SunRun — to develop a financing model that makes solar installations more affordable. Instead of paying the full installation fee upfront, consumers instead put up a down payment that is a fraction of the total cost. Over the next three or four years, the energy savings the consumer realizes goes back to the solar company to pay the remaining balance. After the company is paid in full, the consumer's energy bill decreases significantly. . .

'The culture has changed in Colorado,' says Cheroutes. 'It's something that everyone in Colorado has sort of agreed to and bought in to. And whether that's out of a desire to protect our mountains or to keep our kids from being sent halfway around the world to fight, or if it's to keep kids who are home employed and working, it's a cultural mind change, and sometimes those are the hardest things to deal with in the beginning. So if you have the will of the people, of industry and of political leaders, you can make anything happen.'"

Link to the article

Video Recap from Feb 25 Event - Advanced Water Management: Using Cleantech to Manage Scarce Resources

The CCIA assembled national and regional water experts at the University of Denver to discuss advanced water management and using cleantech to manage scarce resources.

Welcome from Rahmat Shoureshi, Dean and Professor:

CCIA Overview by Christine Shapard, Founding Executive Director:

Cameron J. Brooks, Ph.D.
Director of Solutions & Business Development
IBM Big Green Innovations (first of five parts available on the COCleantech YouTube Channel):

Robin Newmark
Principal Program Manager, Planning and Program Development
National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Roger Austin
National Vice President and Managing Consulting Director

Forbes Guthrie
Stewart Environmental Consultants, Inc. (first of two parts available on the COCleantech YouTube Channel):

Jeffrey Popiel
President & CEO
Geotech Environmental Equipment (first of two parts available on the COCleantech YouTube Channel):

Link to the CCIA YouTube Channel