Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 2007


Published for Proceedings, the Range Beef Cow Symposium XX December 11, 12, 13, 2007 – Fort Collins, CO.


Over the past 20 years, the United States’ use of power has increased about 25 percent. Couple this with the fact that Americans are looking for more clean energy choices, and it is easy to see the incentive for energy generation and use from alternative energy sources. Agriculture can provide the potential for clean, alternative energy sources.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) require that affected electricity providers include a specified amount of renewable energy as part of their portfolio of generating fuels. There are many varieties of RPS; of the twenty-six states that adopted RPS, no two states have enacted exactly the same provisions. Out of the four states included in the collaborative efforts to present the Range Beef Cow Symposium, Colorado is the only one that has adopted such standards.

There are several sources that are considered alternative energy. As reported by the Energy Information Administration, the 2006 profile of renewable energy sources includes biomass, geothermal energy, hydroelectric conventional, solar/pv energy, and wind energy. Preliminary data from the report shows that total wind generation increased by 45 percent from 2005 to 2006.