Tag Archives: energy

Beers and Boulder/Colorado’s Energy Future: Policies, Barriers, and Options

Do you want to hear where two of the region’s top policy experts think Boulder, and Colorado’s energy future could be going? Join your fellow energy colleagues on Thursday, January 23rd, for an informative and fun evening at the Rocky Mountain AESP Energy Hour.

Both Will Toor, former Boulder mayor and Boulder County commissioner, and Tom Plant, former Colorado State Representative, and Director of the Governor’s Energy Office, have agreed to have a lively panel discussion to address some of the following critical issues:

  • What kinds of current policies at the state and local level help or hinder our progress towards cleaner generation and even transportation?
  • What is the flavor of the state legislature’s, and governor’s, taste for more renewables and higher DSM goals?
  • What options does the City of Boulder have that could lead to a cleaner future, with or without a muni?
  • What changes really make a difference with carbon, and which are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?
  • And other topics from the attendees.
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Good local beer and appetizers will be featured by your host, E Source.
When: 5:30-7:30, Thursday, January 23rd. Panel discussion will start around 6:15.
Where: E Source high-efficiency offices, 1745 38th Street Boulder, Colorado 80301 (Map of E Source ) Just north of FATE Brewing.
Cost: For non-AESP members, a donation of $5 is requested.
Head Count: To help us know approximately how many people are coming, we’d appreciate that you put your name in this link (if you don’t, you can still come to the event…this will just help us plan): AESP-E Source event

The Road to 100 Percent Renewables is Closer than you Think

Photo by Ben Bocko of solar panels and an American flag on top of the governor's office in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Ben Bocko – Governor’s Office in Boston, Massachusetts

By: Stephanie Borsum, September 2013

Conventional ways of thinking of renewable energy as too expensive or unreliable are old and outdated, according to Renewables 100, a nonprofit organization founded to study and advance the global transition to a 100 percent renewable energy future. This organization firmly believes that, “it is not a question of ‘if’ the 100% renewable energy future will become a reality; it is solely a question of ‘when’ and ‘how’.” Renewables 100 was the first to host an international conference in the United States that focused on 100 percent renewable energy targets and solutions. The Pathways to 100 Percent Renewable Energy Conference was held on April 16, 2013 in San Francisco and intended on providing the public with knowledge of renewable energies along with hope for a completely sustainable future.

At the conference there were various esteemed and influential speakers who discussed global warming, climate change, technology, policy and economics in relation to renewable energy systems. These speakers all put forth the compelling claim that entire towns, cities and countries could, and eventually will be, powered and run completely on renewable energies. They also helped to prove, by citing a number of recent authoritative energy studies, that the shift away from fossil fuels is technically and economically viable in today’s world.  With current technologies, including photovoltaic solar panels, wind turbines, biomass and hydropower, enough energy security can be provided to supply societies demands and more. These speakers have helped create a vision for the potential of renewable resources and illustrated it becoming a reality. Their research and presentations helped to educate the public and overcome some barriers found when transitioning to a renewable system.

Since the conference, 8 Countries, 41 cities, 48 regions, 8 utilities, and 21 NonProfit, educational and public institutions committed to shifting to 100% renewable energy within the next few decades. Continue reading The Road to 100 Percent Renewables is Closer than you Think

Council Public Hearing For Boulder Municipalization on 4/16

EUoftheF_web_cornerOn Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, the City of Boulder will be holding a public hearing to decide whether to move forward on a municipal utility. The hearing will be held at the Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway Street at 6pm.

Boulder City Council released a report on February 21st, 2013 updating the progress on research devoted to the creation of a municipal electric utility. The report concluded that a shift from a private to a municipal utility company could: lower utility rates (for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors) projected over an estimated 20 year span, maintain levels of system reliability, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent through an increase in renewable energy production (by more than 54 percent).

The public with be given a chance to comment. Please bring your family, friends, co-workers, and colleagues.

A profile of Freiburg, Germany

A good short profile of the city of Freiburg, Germany, and their many sustainability initiatives. Freiburg is a little more than double Boulder’s size — both in population and area, so it has a similar average population density. It’s also a university town with a strong tech sector locally. The whole city was re-built post WWII, but they chose to build it along the same lines as the old city, with a dense core, and well defined boundaries. Today about half of daily trips are done by foot or on bike, with another 20% on public transit. They have a local energy efficiency finance program, on top of the national one administered by KfW, and higher building efficiency standards than Germany as a whole. Half their electricity comes from combined heat and power facilities that also provide district heating and hot water. It seems like they’d be a good model city to compare Boulder to, and learn from.