On December 13 the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) announced the launch of the Colorado Energy Coalition (CEC) – a consortium of leaders and stakeholders in Colorado’s diverse energy industry whose volunteer efforts will support and promote the industry in Colorado and nationwide.
The CEC will work to make Colorado an even more competitive place for all energy-related sectors to do business and to position the region as the “Balanced Energy Capital of the West”– a dynamic energy economy with vast fossil fuel resources and cutting-edge renewables, alternatives, and conservation.
Colorado is uniquely positioned for this effort and has the research and educational foundation and diverse sector of energy-related companies to develop an inclusive approach to our region’s growing power needs, said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver EDC.
“We have the ‘perfect storm’ of resources right here to promote Metro Denver as the ‘Balanced Energy Capital of the West,’” said Clark. “The Colorado Energy Coalition seeks to speak with one voice to promote Colorado’s energy assets and address the regulatory challenges facing the industry.”
In addition, cultivating a highly educated, well-trained workforce is another CEC priority. The coalition will study workforce projections, working closely with the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative, a $15 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to expand the pipeline of highly skilled workers for the region’s fastest-growing industries like energy.
Promoting conservation is another CEC objective. The coalition will work to advance energy conservation at the business and industry level by promoting adoption of new technologies for energy-efficiency in commercial buildings.
“The Colorado Energy Coalition will encourage government and business to recognize the special opportunities we have here in Metro Denver and Colorado to take our energy industry to the next level of national competitiveness,” said Dr. Bill Scoggins, president of the Colorado School of Mines and co-chair of the CEC.
“The creation of this organization helps distinguish Colorado from other states that don’t offer our breadth of energy opportunities and will add to the Metro Denver region’s draw for new industry business development,” added Jay Herrmann, vice president of customer and community relations for Xcel Energy, also a co-chair of the CEC.
The CEC’s formation follows on the heels of the success of the Colorado Space Coalition (CSC). Within two years of its formation in 2004, the CSC’s efforts solidified Colorado’s position as the nation’s No. 2 space economy.
Both organizations expand upon the Metro Denver EDC’s focus on fast-growing industry clusters projected to offer high-paying, high-skill jobs in the region. Those industries include aerospace, bioscience, energy, financial services and information technology. In early November, the Metro Denver EDC released its second annual Metro Denver Industry Cluster Study, a competitive analysis of industries leading the area’s future economic growth.