Reaching Colorado’s clean energy targets presents economic opportunities as well as challenges. Our region can harness the opportunities by accelerating local clean energy development, maximizing resource efficiency, growing local capacity, expertise, skills and businesses, and advancing clean transportation.

At the same time, we must anticipate the challenges of transitioning to 100% renewable energy. Property and severance taxes and federal mineral lease revenues help support multiple local governments and public services, such as schools, fire and hospital districts. The Western Slope’s economy has jobs, tax revenues and businesses connected to gas, oil and coal-related industries.

Transitioning to 100% renewable energy requires finding ways to replace these funding sources and jobs as they are impacted over time, while at the same time taking a leadership role in harnessing the economic opportunities.

Current Economic Initiatives

As part of a study funded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, regional nonprofit partners are conducting an analysis of the jobs and economic benefits of accelerating solar development in our three-county region (Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties) and utilizing more locally produced solar to reach utility and state clean energy targets.

In addition, the study will include an “Economic Transition Assessment” that will explore the role of the gas industry in supporting public services, local governments and schools in the region. The results of these studies will be released in June 2021.

Resources: Jobs and economic development potential from clean energy

Resources: Economic Transition

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