Colorado voters have become the first in the nation to vote on and pass a renewable energy standard on as part of a statewide ballot question. By a 53%-47% margin, a majority of voters approved Amendment 37 on the November 2nd ballot; which requires an increasing amount of the electricity in Colorado to come from renewables energy sources such as wind and solar.
Colorado now joins 17 states with minimum clean energy standards as part of a growing trend of states taking the lead to fill the void of federal energy policy.
Amendment 37 requires Colorado’s top electric utility companies to provide an increasing percentage of their retail electricity sales from renewable resources; such as wind, solar and biomass; starting at 3 percent in 2007, 6% by 2011 and increasing to 10 percent by 2015.
This is what appeared on the ballot in Colorado:
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado revised statutes concerning renewable energy standards for large providers of retail electric service, and, in connection therewith, defining eligible renewable energy resources to include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, small hydroelectricity, and hydrogen fuel cells; requiring that a percentage of retail electricity sales be derived from renewable sources, beginning with 3% in the year 2007 and increasing to 10% by 2015; requiring utilities to offer customers a rebate of $2.00 per watt and other incentives for solar electric generation; providing incentives for utilities to invest in renewable energy resources that provide net economic benefits to customers; limiting the retail rate impact of renewable energy resources to 50 cents per month for residential customers; requiring public utilities commission rules to establish major aspects of the measure; prohibiting utilities from using condemnation or eminent domain to acquire land for generating facilities used to meet the standards; requiring utilities with requirements contracts to address shortfalls from the standards; and specifying election procedures by which the customers of a utility may opt out of the requirements of this amendment?
- New Rules Project’s Renewable Portfolio Standards section
- More on initiative and referendum at the New Rules Project’s GovernanceSector