What’s the Status of Solar in Colorado?
Solar energy is a key part of Colorado’s overall renewable energy portfolio. In fact, Colorado was the first state to pass a renewable energy standard by popular opinion. How has solar developed in the Centennial State over the past few years?
Current State of Colorado Solar on the Ground
In Colorado, like in most of America, solar energy has rapidly expanded over the past decade. With the advent of certain solar incentives, along with the increased availability of cheaper solar products, solar has exploded in popularity.
How Solar Has Expanded in Colorado
Colorado has not quite cracked the top ten states for the most solar installed, but it is getting close. As of 2021, it was 13th in the country for total MWs of solar installed. That’s a net gain of one spot for Colorado since 2020.
Future Expansion of Solar
The SEIA expects Colorado to add an additional 3,819 MW of solar PV installations by 2025. Similarly, Axios Denver reports that Colorado’s solar capacity was expected to double in 2021. While it’s too soon to tell whether Colorado met those expectations, SEIA’s report shows that Colorado’s solar capacity did expand in 2021.
Renewable Energy in Colorado
On top of solar, Colorado has been heavily investing in other forms of renewable energy. Wind, hydroelectric, and solar power combined make up roughly one-third of Colorado’s total energy production. As solar continues to be installed in the Centennial State, that number will continue to increase.
The Price of Solar in Colorado
Again according to the SEIA, the price of solar in Colorado has dropped by 11 percent since 2015. The drop in price comes from a multitude of factors, such as better manufacturing methods and more solar panels being produced. While prices may not continue to drop at the rate that they are now, they will likely continue to decline for some time.
The Current State of Colorado Solar Incentives
No picture of solar is complete without knowing the solar incentives available to homeowners. The incentives are the main reason that residential solar has become so affordable. As long as the incentives stay strong, solar will continue to grow.
The main incentive available to Colorado homeowners is net metering. While the net metering rates vary based on what utility company services your area, you are guaranteed to have the opportunity to apply for net metering. Additionally, there are utility-level incentives and state-level tax exemptions. These can be rebates through your utility company or waiving the sales tax on your solar products, among others.