Bookmark and Share

Impact in state totals $875M

By Ken Amundson

BizWest / daily Camera

GOLDEN and BOULDER — The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with major presence in both Jefferson and Boulder counties, contributes $875 million to the Colorado economy and $1.4 billion to the national economy, according to an analysis by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business at CU compiled the economic impacts of the federal lab, which is the primary U.S. Department of Energy lab for renewable energy and energy efficiency research. The lab is charged with developing advanced energy technologies and working with industry to transfer innovations and knowledge to the private sector. Among its recent work has been electricgrid modernization and advanced energy storage, according to the Leeds study.

Other data points in the Leeds’ review:

• In 2019, the agency had 871 partnerships with industry in 47 states and 29 countries.

• NREL employs 2,265 in Golden and a total of 4,527 in Colorado, with an average wage of $129,457. The statewide jobs number includes direct and support roles, although 63% are in core research. An additional 2,400 employees live elsewhere in the United States.

• Most NREL employees in Colorado, 95%, live in the Boulder and Denver areas.

• Most employees, 96%, have college degrees with 36.4% of them at the doctoral level.

• It has a large geographic footprint in Jefferson and Boulder counties with a 327-acre campus in Golden and the 305-acre Flatirons campus near Boulder, which hosts the National Wind Technology Center.

• Its demonstration work includes the Research Support Facility, which is one of the largest zero-energy office buildings in the world.

• The Department of Energy, the primary funder of NREL research, draws 11.7% of all federal research dollars. The Department of Defense has the largest share of federal research dollars at 39.4% © 2020 BizWest Media LLC

Bookmark and Share