We arrived at last to our very first stop on our summer trip! While the drive was breathtaking, 14 hours on the road and we were all ready to stretch out our legs. Not to mention, there were plenty of mountains to hike within sight! So, on our first morning in Colorado, after checking my emails of course, and getting in a decent breakfast, we set out on the misty morning with Earl and my parents dog, Gracie, trekking along in front of us. Being that they’re both fairly high-energy and nimble dogs, it’s safe to say they kept a healthy lead too.
I worked with a woman once who lived in Colorado on an off-grid system – including a well, a small home-garden, and solar panels – and I thought, “Wow! I wonder if everyone lives that green in Colorado.”
Of course, it didn’t take long when researching the Colorado state energy profile to navigate to eia.gov – for like comparisons with the Texas and New Mexico energy profiles from prior blog posts (Texas on 08/02/2021, https://suntexllc.com/3673-2/, and New Mexico on 08/03/2021, https://suntexllc.com/new-mexico-energy-profile/, respectively) – to find while no other state even comes close to the Texas natural gas consumption rates, Colorado did rank higher in Natural gas consumption than New Mexico (in Trillion BTU: TX, 4,779.5; CO, 559.8; NM, 305.1; https://www.eia.gov/). While Colorado also has impressive supplies of oil and natural gas, what I did find pretty remarkable were the renewable energy Quick Facts (pasted below for reference, https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=CO):
- “Since 2010, Colorado’s renewable electricity net generation has more than tripled, led by increased wind and solar, and accounted for 30% of the state’s total generation in 2020.”
- “In 2020, coal-fired power plants provided 36% of Colorado’s net generation, down from 68% in 2010, while electricity from natural gas and renewable energy sources increased.”
- “Colorado ranked seventh among the states in installed wind power capacity in 2020.”
While you’ve likely heard the saying, “Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine per year,” some debate whether or not that claim is valid depending upon how you define a sunny day, however it’s safe to say that there is a lot of sunshine to capture in that state during the spring and summer months. You’re welcome to check it out for yourself (https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/?query=colorado), but at least for now I’d say they’re making positive steps in the direction towards increasing their usage of renewable energy – be it wind, solar, or rain-water capture, Colorado is steps ahead of the game.
For more details on Colorado’s Energy Profile, check out the following links:
- Full Energy Report, Energy.gov: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/09/f33/CO_Energy%20Sector%20Risk%20Profile.pdf
- Full Energy Report and Repository, from the Energy Office of Colorado: https://energyoffice.colorado.gov/climate-energy/energy-in-colorado