Colorado Invests $6 Million In Renewable Energy Research
A measure to fund a new Colorado renewable energy research collaboration has been signed into law by Colorado Governor Bill Owens.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and three Colorado research universities have been working together since March to create the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.
The Collaboratory will receive up to $2 million per year for three years, beginning in fiscal year 2007. The Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado are partners in the project with NREL, which is based in Golden, Colorado.
The funds can be used only as matching funds to enable the Collaboratory to qualify for federal and private research projects. NREL and the universities will pay for all overhead costs of the Collaboratory from their existing budgets. If the Collaboratory uses any state monies as matching funds, those monies must be repaid to the state as the Collaboratory earns income from technologies developed and transferred to private industry.
“This idea is a direct off-shoot of the Renewable Energy Summit I hosted in January, and a follow-up planning session I hosted with the presidents of CU, CSU and Mines, along with NRELs director,” said U.S. Senator Ken Salazar. “The Summit, where representatives from the entire energy community came together to share their thoughts and ideas on renewable energy and spell out its potential, spawned many other ideas for action, which we continue to pursue.”
“The National Renewable Energy Laboratory applauds Governor Owens, Senator Salazar and the Colorado Legislature for advancing renewable energy in Colorado,” said NREL Director Dan Arvizu. “We look forward to a long and productive collaboration with our Colorado university partners to enable the state to become a national leader in renewable energy science, technology development and education.”
Renewable energy includes current and potential energy sources, such as solar and wind energy; ethanol and biodiesel from agricultural crops and forest products; geothermal energy for heating and cooling; hydrogen fuel cells; and other emerging technologies.
“This legislation is an exciting new development for the University of Colorado and other Colorado institutions,”said CU President Hank Brown. Mobilizing our expertise in renewable energy along with the resources at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will not only foster pioneering research, but will place Colorado on the map as a vital leader in renewable energy research.”
Colorado State University President Larry Penley said, “Colorado State University, in concert with our renewable energy Collaboratory partners, is dedicated to economic development in Colorado while providing solutions for a reliable, clean and secure energy future. Colorado State University is actively involved in energy technology research and development on biofuels, solar cell production, smart power grids, wind systems and biomass conversion.”
“Access to clean and affordable energy is essential to the economic well-being of our state, our nation and the world,” Colorado School of Mines President John Trefny said. “The development of energy resources and associated technologies has been a major part of the Colorado School of Mines mission since its very beginning.”
Although the formal establishment of the Collaboratory is still in process, NREL and the Universities have already joined forces to compete for a contract that will be issued by the U.S. Department of Energy for research on the utilization of solar energy.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.