Summer 2023
We hope you are enjoying summer. We certainly are experiencing climate change, from the record rain and damaging hail on Colorado's Front Range to the deadly heat wave gripping much of the southern U.S. I had the opportunity to sail along Alaska's Inside Passage in June and saw how the glaciers are retreating.
It's tempting to wish there were an easy solution like just vacuuming all that CO2 out of the atmosphere. Indeed, increasing amounts of money are being devoted to such schemes. But many climate activists are warning such technologies are distracting from cheaper and more effective ways to address the climate crisis such as a massive ramp-up of renewable energy deployment. In this issue, we offer a short summary and links to much more reading.
Thanks to those who were able to join us for the Summer Solstice Party - below are some photos, and thanks again to our sponsors who are now also newsletter sponsors - please click on their links below to learn more.

Sunny regards,
Rebecca Cantwell 
for New Energy Colorado

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Climate Savior or Boondoggle?

Efforts to Suck Out Atmospheric Carbon Raise Alarms

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just suck all that carbon dioxide that is warming our planet out of the atmosphere and stick it underground? This notion is drawing increasing attention- from massive tax breaks in the federal climate law to big announcements from well-heeled players.

But these emerging technologies are also prompting climate activists to urge caution.

Carbon management technologies aim to turn emissions negative through carbon dioxide removal (CDR). They include natural methods such as coastal ecosystem restoration, reforestation, agroforestry and soil carbon sequestration through methods including biochar.

But it’s the industrial players, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and direct air capture (DAC), that are drawing the big bucks. Many believe they may prove to be an expensive and potentially dangerous boondoggle, at least in the near term.

Rather, efforts should be focused on ramping up solar, wind, energy storage, improving electric grids, driving electric cars and energy conservation. Those would all reduce emissions more at much less cost, climate activists believe.

Longtime Colorado climate expert Morey Wolfson reminds audiences that carbon capture would cost at least $800 billion to remove just 1 part per million of CO2 from the atmosphere. He multiplies 1 ppm of CO2, which weighs 8 billion tons, by $100/ton - the optimistic DOE 2032 "EarthShot'' cost reduction goal.

That $800 billion would only drop atmospheric levels from the current 424 ppm to 423 ppm- and the atmospheric CO2 levels have been growing at 3 ppm per year. That same $800 billion would pay for enough solar technology deployment to equal 66% of the total installed US electric generation capacity. If all that solar replaced fossil generation, it would cut 1 billion tons of CO2 per year, Wolfson says. By contrast, the largest DAC machine on the planet is removing 4,000 tons of CO2 per year.

The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate issued a statement expressing concern, concluding, ``DAC and CCS are decades away from wide scale implementation, and their ability to effectively limit carbon emissions is a point of concern…Moving forward with the implementation of DAC and CCS risks extending the lifespan of the fossil fuel industry - a move that puts us in grave risk of not meeting our climate targets.’’
Resources to learn more:
CCUS talk by Morey Wolfson on YouTube:
Natural Resources Defense Council - CCUS:
Institute for Energy Economics and
Financial Analysis - CCUS:
Food and Water Watch:
State Leads Discussions Examining Future of Net Metering

Solar net-metering has been the foundational policy that has enabled Colorado’s rooftop solar industry to boom in the past 15 years, and it is protected in state law. Homeowners who pay to install solar electric systems on their roofs can get full retail credit from their utility for excess generation, boosting the payback time for their systems.
With the decrease in cost of solar energy and the increase in penetration, some utilities argue that changes are needed. Earlier this year, Holy Cross Energy, an electrical coop serving 48,000 members in the central Rockies, proposed a new policy which would pay solar homeowners less. The utility, considered one of the state’s most progressive, drew the ire of the solar industry and solar owners. The Colorado Solar and Storage Association argued that the proposed changes would violate state law and harm climate goals in lengthy comments to the utility.

At the request of the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), Holy Cross agreed to postpone implementation of the proposed new rates until January. CEO convened stakeholders, including Holy Cross, other utilities and COSSA for discussions about whether changes are needed to current state policy on net metering.

Read more:
Summary of Issues:

Summer Solstice Party Shines

Solar CitiSuns gathered on June 20 to celebrate the sun and Colorado's clean energy success. Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor, State Senator Chris Hansen, Jefferson County Commissioner Andy Kerr and Lakewood Sustainability manager Jonathan Wachtel shared progress at the local and state levels.
A highlight was the chance to learn about electric cars brought from sponsors Planet Hyundai Golden, Audi Denver and Lucid Denver.

Photos: Dave Bowden/
-2023 Metro Denver Green Homes Tour October 7

-Arkansas Valley Green Homes Tour September 16-17

More information here

Virtual Home Tour Always Open For Your Visit!

You can tour some of the region's most sustainable homes at your leisure by taking our virtual tour any time. Visit New Energy Colorado's website to start:
Funding Opportunities

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) has launched a pilot program to provide funding for community-scale electrification efforts. The program will provide funding to encourage adoption of technologies such as heat pumps for projects serving at least five housing units or at least three businesses or building units. Learn more and apply here: High Efficiency Electric Heating and Appliances Grant Program | Colorado Energy Office

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) has announced that Electric Bicycle rebates will be available starting in mid-August for low and moderate income residents across Colorado. Information and online applications will be available on CEO’s website. You can sign up to be on a newsletter list for information: Signup Form (

Upcoming Events

American Solar Energy Society
ASES Solar 2023 Conference - August 8-11
The University of Colorado-Boulder Information here
Friday the 11th is a free day for the public from 10am- 4pm. Visit outdoor booths and hear a noon presentation in front of the CU Memorial building.  
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