Friday, May 27, 2011 at 7:45:00 AM – by Nate Lew
Solar panels seem like an obvious solution in the deserts of the southwest, but one of the leading states for solar power is better known for snow-capped mountains. The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation released a report this week detailing the stunning growth the state has seen in its renewable energy sector.

Between 2005 and 2010, the United States’ clean-tech industry grew by a reasonable 10 percent. In the same time, the sector grew by 32.7 percent in Colorado. Even in difficult economic times the industry has continued to make gains, with renewable energy the only sector to add jobs in 2010.

Despite the recent success, as recently as 2007 Colorado could only claim 2.2 megawatts of solar power installations, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Last year, the industry had swelled 54.6 megawatts that was produced by 1,600 companies employing more than 19,000 workers, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“With the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in our backyard, the nation’s second-highest renewable energy standard and copious amounts of wind and sunshine, our region truly has become a hub for clean-technology,” said Metro Denver EDC executive vice president Tom Clark.

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