Developing just 10% of Colorado's accessible wind resources could meet all of the state's new electricity demand through 2020 and it would have twice the economic benefits, particularly in rural areas, than developing natural gas resources to meet the same demand, says a new report by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG). Even if a more reasonable route is pursued -- one-half of new energy to be met by wind in the next decade and three-quarters by 2020 -- benefits would still include 6300 one-year jobs, with a value of $210 million, 1300 long term jobs, valued annually at $51 million, and $76 million in royalties paid to farmers. In addition, wind farms increase the local property tax base. The report, Wind Energy: Powering Economic Development for Colorado, says that GE Wind Energy's 162 MW wind farm near Lamar, to be completed this year, will increase the tax base in Prowers County by 29%. Overall, the build up of wind energy in the state will shield all electricity consumers from volatile gas prices and their impacts on producing power.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol