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The rural utility response to Colorado’s electricity mandates

Authors
Journal
Energy Policy
0301-4215
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
39
Issue
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.08.042
Keywords
  • Electricity
  • Rps
  • Policy
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Law

Abstract

Abstract When Colorado voters passed Amendment 37 in 2004, it became the first state to pass a renewable portfolio standard at the ballet box, suggesting broad appeal to harness and pay for renewable energy. While large urban utilities are prepared to make this transition, smaller cities and rural areas, for various financial and scale issues are severely disadvantaged in trying to incorporate more renewable energy sources into their electricity mix. This was evident by the state's support for Amendment 37, which was passed due to strong support in the Denver metro area—representing nearly half of the state's population. Support for the bill was poor in the rest of the state. Nevertheless, in 2007, the state expanded up Amendment 37 by forcing the utilities in rural communities to diversify their electricity mix. This study surveyed the managers at the state's various rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in an effort to gage their attitudes concerning: carbon legislation, conservation and efficiency programs, and their plans for making the transition away from fossil fuel generation.

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