Brian Bagley was elected mayor of Longmont back in 2016, and while you wouldn’t expect a second-amendment supporting, cowboy boot wearing, former registered Republican to be on the boat for green energy solutions – you’d be mistaken. In December of 2017 Bagley issued a mayoral proclamation for Longmont that supports his city turning to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
In Bagley’s case, it’s not about the partisanship surrounding renewable energy, but trying to do what the citizens of Longmont want and what’s in the town’s best economic interests. “I’m getting a lot of hits from the far right, saying ‘Oh, Bagley, you caved to the left. You tree hugger, you.’ What they don’t understand is it makes economic sense,” he said.
Longmont joins several other Colorado communities including Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Nederland, and Pueblo that are exploring renewable energy options and setting the bar high. Several of these communities, known as the Compact of Colorado Communities, will meet later in January to discuss renewable energy goals. Renewables have now become a more viable option thanks to a drop in technology prices, particularly in wind and solar. Democratic State Senator Matt Jones, who represents Longmont, will introduce legislation later this year to prompt utilities and cities to make the push to 100% renewable energy.
The big utility companies have also seen a big shake up with alternative energy sourcing and are moving their resources away from oil and gas and into the renewable market. Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest energy provider, is reviewing plans with the state to shift 55% of its total energy production to wind and solar.
Getting any city to 100% renewable energy is a tough goal, and cities and towns are taking different paths towards achieving their goals. The City of Boulder is asking permission from the state to form their own municipal energy company to spur investment and infrastructure. While technology is becoming cheaper and more available every day, there are still many cost limitations that could hinder renewable progress. Expect to hear much more on renewable energy in 2018 and what effects it could have on your pocketbook.
Do you feel like Colorado should set an example with renewable energy or should the state play a wait-and-see game and let other states test the renewable waters first? Chime in and let us know how renewable energy could impact you or your business.