Thu February 9, 2012

Solar Industry Leaders Meet In Loveland

Local business executives and national solar energy leaders were in Loveland Thursday discussing the future of the solar industry in Colorado.

Over 500 industry reps are attending “Solar Power Colorado” the largest business to business solar conference in the state.

Neil Lurie is Executive Director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) who organized the event. 

"Everyone knows that solar has good environmental benefits, but what’s really changed here in the Colorado marketplace, is the foundation that we’ve been able to build over the last several years, has grown to the point of being a major job creator.”

Lauri says while the cost of solar technology has decreased by 70%, some of the non technology costs like permitting, taxes, and inspection fees are still high. 

The industry is collaborating with local governments and utilities to streamline the process associated with those costs.

Bo DeAngelo, President of the Board of Governors for COSEIA, sees solar as an alternative in the state's booming energy market as Colorado continues to see growth in the oil and gas sector.

“It provides your own energy policy and it provides  you independence from fossil fuels. It’s a choice. And that’s what this country is all about. Having choice.”

Colorado ranks 2nd in the nation for total number of solar jobs. Last year, the industry’s 6,100 positions exceeded the number of mining jobs in the state which were estimated by the Colorado Mining Association to be around 5,000.

Solar Power Colorado runs through Friday.