Citing 100% renewable push, Polis leads western governors in geothermal energy push |

Citing 100% renewable push, Polis leads western governors in geothermal energy push

Polis plans to use 22-member group to promote the energy source soon after signing laws in Colorado doing the same

Nick Coltrain
The Denver Post
Gov. Jared Polis speaks at the JeffCo Community Solar Garden in Arvada, Colorado, on May 30, 2019. He recently unveiled plans to promote geothermal energy through the Western Governors’ Association as part of a 100% renewable energy.
Joe Amon/The Denver Post

COLORADO — Geothermal energy will be the top priority for Gov. Jared Polis’ upcoming term as the chair of the 22-member Western Governors’ Association.

The push will seek to establish “actionable items” on how to tap the “heat beneath our feet,” Polis said. That includes efforts states can pursue individually and collaboratively and that the bipartisan governors’ group can push with officials in Washington, D.C.

“The beauty of geothermal electric is, while it can cost money upfront to build, the cost is very close to free for decades,” Polis said. “There’s minimal maintenance, minimal manpower.”

The constant energy put out by the earth has the potential to meet the baseload needs of the state while it works toward 100% clean electricity emissions by 2040, he said. Polis expects the state to hit 80% clean electricity production in 2029 — but going from 80% to 100% will need new energy production and storage.

“Solar and wind are the driving force of all new energy production in our state because they’re simply far less expensive than coal and slightly less expensive than natural gas,” Polis said. “But the question is, when you have solar and wind as a big part of your grid, you need something else for stability, right?”


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