Workforce Reports in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

Economic Impacts from Wind Energy in Colorado Case Study: Rush Creek Wind Farm

September 2019:  Jeremy Stefek (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Anna Kaelin (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Suzanne Tegen (Center for the New Energy Economy), Owen Roberts (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), and David Keyser (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

This report is a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a single wind development: the 600-MW Rush Creek Wind Farm. The results highlight the jobs and economic activity supported during wind construction, manufacturing, and operation and maintenance activities. The case studies and qualitative research in this report provide context for the quantitative JEDI model results—describing the economic impacts to rural communities.

The Wind Energy Workforce in the United States: Training, Hiring, and Future Needs

July 2019: David Keyser (National Renewable Energy Lab) and Suzanne Tegen (Center for the New Energy Economy)

The report is intended to be a resource for a broad array of organizations interested in understanding the size, composition, and potential growth of the wind energy workforce and educational systems in the United States. Further, we hope that this information can help identify opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness the pathway from education to employment, bringing together employers and educators so that those wanting to work in the wind energy industry and those looking for qualified candidates can more easily connect. These connections will help lead to the qualified workforce needed to innovate, install, operate, and maintain wind energy systems of the future. 

Workforce Development for U.S. Hydropower: Key Trends and Findings

July 2019: David Keyser (National Renewable Energy Lab) and Suzanne Tegen (Center for the New Energy Economy)

The purpose of this report is to provide a brief assessment of the current U.S. hydropower industry workforce and educational programs, as well as potential future hydropower workforce needs. This report is based on data collected in 2016 for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by Navigant Consulting and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which included a 2014 survey of hydropower employers to assess future workforce needs for potential growth scenarios.


Analysis of EGU Emissions for Regional Haze Planning and Ozone Transport Contribution

June 14, 2019: The primary purpose of this project was to develop emissions information for use in regional modeling as part of the ongoing implementation of the Regional Haze Rule, and for ozone analysis and planning.

This report describes results related to the project’s two major objectives: 1) A comprehensive database of information on the fleet of fossil fuel-fired EGUs in 13-Western states (circa 2014-2018) that contains information on the plants operating characteristics and NOx and SO2 emissions; and 2) A projection of 2028 NOx and SO2 emissions based on expected plant closures, fuel switching, and emission controls under a “rules on the books” scenario. The data developed through this project will also be used by WESTAR and WRAP to quantify how emissions from fossil fuel-fired EGUs affects ozone formation at urban and rural locations across the West.


Toward an Equitable Coal Transition

December 2018 — In this guest blog post, the Center for the New Energy Economy discusses the trend of closing coal plants and mines and the impact these transitioning economies have on communities around the U.S.

Featured in Prometheus: the Science Policy Blog for University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Research. Originally created in 2004,  Prometheus is designed to create an informal outlet for news, information, and opinion on science and technology policy.


Clean Energy in Agriculture: A Colorado Study

April 2018 — In this report, the Center for the New Energy Economy identifies clean energy opportunities in the agricultural sector and indicates policy changes and programs that will maximize the use of agricultural land in a manner that benefits agricultural producers, electric utilities, and the community. While this report focuses on Colorado’s agricultural sector, it can also be used as a model to promote the adoption of clean energy technologies in the agricultural sectors of other states and regions.



2016 Summer Series

Since the late 1990s, state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) have been the largest drivers of the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. However, state target dates are quickly approaching: by 2026, 29 RPS and 11 EERS policies will need to be extended or replaced in order to maintain market certainty for continued investment and business growth.

In this paper series, the Center for the New Energy Economy analyzes energy efficiency policies (Parts 1 and 2) and renewable energy policies (Parts 3 and 4). Parts 1 and 3 discuss the prospects for extending and enhancing established policies and Parts 2 and 4 propose innovative options that could work with or without an EERS and RPS.


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At the suggestion of the White House, the Center for the New Energy Economy convened more than 100 of America’s thought leaders to identify additional steps the President and his Administration could take to address climate change and the nation’s transition to clean energy. The result was Powering Forward, a report containing more than 200 new ideas for presidential action on five specific topics: energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative transportation fuels, responsible natural gas production, and 21st century business models for electric utilities. Although the Obama Administration implemented many of the ideas, Powering Forward remains a useful resource for the 2016 presidential candidates and the next Administration.

Click here to watch Bill Ritter’s interview on E&E TV on January 22, 2014.