Colorado Emerging as Top Leader in Renewable Energy
Since the early 2000’s, when technological advancements allowed wind to be used as a viable source of energy, the United States has emerged as one of the leading nations in renewable energy research and job creation. According to the American Wind Energy Association, 769,000 renewable energy jobs have been created in the United States, designating 88,000 jobs in the renewable wind sector alone. In an effort to remain competitive among other renewable sources of energy and fossil fuels, significant investments in wind energy are now being made all across the United States. So who is leading the charge in wind research and development? The answer may come as a surprise to some – it’s Colorado.
But Colorado’s emergence as a leader in renewable wind energy really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since passing the nation’s first voter-led Renewable Energy Standard in 2004 – requiring electrical utilities to obtain a percentage of it’s power from renewable sources – Colorado’s investments in wind, solar and other renewable energy’s have ignited several projects all across the state. Now looking to grow it’s already diverse renewable energy portfolio, Colorado aims to tackle the wind energy’s most pressing technological challenges associated with cost and manufacturing while simultaneously creating an abundance of jobs. Until now, Colorado’s presence as an emerging leader has gone largely unnoticed. However with its latest $1.6 million investment in the National Wind Technology Center, Colorado has now solidified it’s presence on the wind industry map and has distinguished itself as a top leader.
The total $1.6 million investment coming from the state of Colorado in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a member of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, will be used to shape the future of composite manufacturing. Perhaps you recall the announcement of the creation of the IACMI, a partnership consisting of 122 corporations, nonprofits, universities, and the Department of Energy, in an effort from the Obama Administration to bridge the gap between industrial and advanced research institutions. The objective is to create cutting edge manufacturing technologies of advanced polymer composites.
In this joint effort to further advance the wind renewable energy sector, the $1.6 million investment will go towards “Structural upgrades, like insulation and exhaust vents, along with manufacturing improvements including the installation of a gantry crane to move and support large objects,” according to project engineers. The investment was also made in an effort to turn the National Wind Technology Center into an innovation catalyst center while attracting the state’s top renewable energy innovators and leaders to simultaneously support the work force.
The project also calls for the completion of a Wind Blade Component Manufacturing Facility, which will serve as an R&D site for the renewable energy industry. The specific R&D projects are likely to include automated production and 3D printing to produce a more durable, inexpensive wind blade.
For a more in-depth look at how Federal R&D Tax Credits have helped to spur developments in Colorado, we at Swanson Reed encourage you to speak with our highly specialized team consisting of Certified Public Accountants, Engineers or PhD qualified chemists, who manage all facets of the R&D tax credit claim process.
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