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The Denver Post: Colorado Clean Energy Industry Set to Expand 9%, Outpacing National Average, Report Says

Posted by Judith Kohler on Sep 5, 2019

The Denver Post covered AEE's Colorado Jobs fact sheet, quoting AEE Principal Emilie Olson, and AEE members CLEAResult and Uplight. Read excerpts below and read the entire Denver Post story here. 

National organization says state is seeing economic dividends from policies promoting renewables, emission-reduction goals. Job growth in Colorado’s so-called “advanced energy” industry — including renewable energy, energy efficiency, electrified transportation, biofuels — has been robust and is expected to expand by about 9% this year, according to new data from a national trade organization.

A fact sheet released Thursday by Advanced Energy Economy said the number of Colorado-based workers in the industry increased by 4% last year to 65,400, compared with the state’s overall job growth of 2.4%. And this year’s projected increase of 9%, based on interviews with Colorado employers, is higher than the expected national average increase of 6%, said Emilie Olson, a principal with the organization.

There are 3.5 million advanced energy jobs nationwide, according to the report.

“The advanced energy landscape is definitely growing in Colorado and really shows some impressive strengths,” Olson said. “The state is already reaping dividends from its energy policies and investments.”

Advanced Energy Economy, whose members include Tesla, Apple and Lockheed Martin as well as many smaller companies, supported several bills approved this year by Colorado lawmakers. Those include ones extending state tax credits for electric vehicles and setting goals for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions...

“Colorado definitely shines through as a leader in that regard, which I would chalk up to the fact that former Gov. (John) Hickenlooper laid that foundation with low-emission vehicle rule-making,” Olson said of the standard approved in 2018. “And obviously, we saw groundbreaking advances on Gov. (Jared) Polis’ watch...”

...Boulder-based Uplight, the result of a merger of two startups, is experiencing “the kind of be-careful-what-you-wish-for growth rate,” said CEO Adrian Tuck.

Uplight, which Tuck described as a software company, works with utilities and other energy providers and customers to manage energy use, provide data, reduce electricity costs and move utilities and customers toward increased clean energy. Uplight, which has acquired four other companies since the merger of Simple Energy and Tendril in July, is growing at about 30%...

...The demand to install more efficient lighting is high, said Clayton Reed, a program portfolio manager with CLEAResult, a Texas-based company with offices in Colorado and across North America. The company works with utilities, businesses and homeowners using a number of tools to reduce costs, increase energy efficiency and meet environmental goals...

The industry is creating more jobs than schools are graduating people to fill the spots, Tuck with Uplight said. Tighter immigration policies also are making it more difficult to recruit qualified candidates from other countries, he said...

Read the entire Denver Post story here.

Topics: United In The News