Description: This paper reports that, currently, most utilities in the state of Colorado are subject to the 20% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) passed by voters in 2004 and expanded by the state legislature in 2007. However, because of bonuses and exemptions written into the law, the true required renewable energy penetration is only 12.3%, making the law less then adequate for addressing climate change. The study aims to assess the real renewable energy and carbon impacts of the current RPS and investigates the benefits of increasing the RPS to true 20% and 30% values. A user input-driven predictive Excel model was developed to find the proper technology spread, electrical outputs, and carbon reduction for each RPS. It was found that while all the RPS variants are technically feasible based on available renewable resources, only the 30% RPS meets the carbon reductions that are thought necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The report then comments on the results and what RPS percentage will be the most acceptable avenue.
Date: December 1, 2007
Creator: Muren, R. & Kutscher, C.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department