Denver, Colorado, USA

Speer Boulevard, Denver, Colorado, USA

  • Target: 100% clean electricity city-wide by 2030 and 30% by 2020 for investor-owned utilities (state targets), 55% renewable energy by 2026 (electric utility - Xcel Energy target)
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy, electric mobility
  • Implementation: The City of Denver is teaming up with utility provider Xcel Energy to invest in a greener future for all. In a state historically dominated by coal and fracked gas, Colorado consumers are now demanding more sustainable energy. Xcel Colorado (Public Service Company of Colorado or PSCO) is laying out major investment plans for clean energy infrastructure. When Denver joined nine other Colorado communities in July 2018 in making the commitment to transition to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2030, it came on the basis of a Climate Action Plan created in 2015 that pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050. Under the leadership of Mayor Michael Hancock, the 80x50 Climate Action Plan would go beyond clean power. It would incorporate strategies for land use and development, home and business efficiency upgrades, and mass transit planning to meet the city’s 80% carbon reduction goal. The plan also includes provisions for a community solar program, a net-zero building code for new construction by 2035, and a fleet of 100% electric light-duty vehicles, taxis, and car shares by 2050.Reaching these goals will require strong strategic partnerships. Denver has received support from more than 50 nonprofits and businesses for its clean energy plans. Organisations include the Working Families Party, the Colorado Latino Forum, the Denver NAACP, the Democratic Party, and the Denver Labor Federation. The local utility, PSCO, has recently finalized encouraging agreements with Colorado communities. Given that Denver accounts for 25% of Xcel’s retail sales, the city has been able to act on community pressure urging the utility transition to clean energy. Xcel has since announced plans to replace two units at Colorado’s largest coal plant with a $2.5 billion investment in clean energy generation. The plan is expected to save more than $213 million, while reducing carbon emissions by 59%. By 2026, Xcel plans for 55% of the energy they generate in Colorado to come from renewable sources. As a model for the rest of the country, Colorado is the first state in which the renewable portfolio standard is set by public vote, rather than by legislation; its abundant wind and solar resources make the transition to clean energy both affordable and logical.
  • Population: 716,492 (2018)
  • Area: 154.97 sq mi (401.36 km2)
  • Link: American Cities Climate Challenge: Denver
Speer Boulevard, Denver, Colorado, USA