Aug 16, 2022
By Jeff Todd • CBS News Colorado
With more than $300 billion headed to clean energy as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Colorado's solar industry is expecting an explosion in business.
"This is transformative, there's no doubt. This is a 10-year signal that we're ready to do business in the United States on clean energy," said Annie Lappe, the Vice President of Policy and Impact at Pivot Energy.
"Right now, solar energy accounts for three percent of our U.S. energy supply. With the incentives in this bill, which again are going to bring the price down of solar energy, we're going to see the demand for it skyrocket. We could get to 30 percent Solar by 2030," Lappe added.
The money and a long-term tax credit are expected to stabilize renewable energy markets that have been in flux for years with government support.
"The need is now, and the need will only get greater. Any business will tell you that certainty about where the market is going to be for 10 years is amazing. Customers can plan on that; employers can plan on that, and workers can plan on that," said Mike Kruger, the President and CEO of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association.
There are an estimated 7,000 people working in the solar industry in Colorado. That number is expected to double within the decade.
"Thanks to this bill and other factors, we're planning to double in size in the next year. We're going to be helping train up a workforce so that we can get ready to meet the demand of so many megawatts of clean energy," Lappe said.
"It's not just your traditional boots on the roof or folks in the field, we need marketing experts, communications experts, we need legal experts," Kruger said.
And in turn, the expectation is for energy prices to drop.
"Xcel Energy will be putting out a request for 4 gigawatts for new renewable energy, all of it will now be 30 percent cheaper than it would have been had this bill not happened. You should see savings in your electricity bill because your local utilities are adding very cheap solar," Kruger said.
Jeff Todd is a reporter for CBS News Colorado.
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First published on August 15, 2022 / 9:28 PM
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