Community Energy and Vibrant Clean Energy have released a new study which identifies measures to help the US state of Colorado to accelerate the energy transition and decarbonisation of energy networks.
According to the study, replacing coal plants with wind, solar, natural gas and battery energy storage technologies and electrifying buildings and the transport systems will enable Colorado to reduce consumer energy rates by 15% by 2040.
The move would also produce annual savings in excess of $700 million.
Other key study findings include:
- Re-investing some portion of the coal plant retirement savings into accelerating transportation and building electrification can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 56% by 2030 and almost 70% by 2040.
- Building new wind and solar facilities is now far less expensive than operating ageing coal fleets.
- Utilities can recover up to $1.5 billion by retiring coal facilities.
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Eric Blank, executive vice president at Community Energy, said: “Colorado has the opportunity to decarbonise its economy AND lower utility rates and costs.
“The key is to focus across multiple sectors using savings from coal plant retirements to fund building and transport electrification. The new electric demand also allows for far greater renewable penetration as wind and solar facilities that would otherwise be curtailed (due to inadequate demand) can now be used to flexibly charge growing amounts of electric vehicle batteries.
“The path forward to reducing CO2 emissions and lowering electricity costs in Colorado is now clear. Using this study as a guide, the state can now collaborate across sectors to focus on the largest, quickest, and most cost-effective emission reduction opportunities.”
A summary of the study and its key assumptions can be downloaded at www.communityenergyinc.com/costudy.