Colorado has abundant energy resources—from renewables: wind, solar, hydroelectricity, and geothermal; to fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, coal; along with uranium. The state presently generates electricity from a combination of coal, natural gas, and, increasingly, renewable sources. Geology plays an important part in locating appropriate sites and raw materials for many energy resources, as well as determining safe disposal sites for the waste products of energy development.
The CGS performs a lead role in conducting the geological research that informs energy resource development across the state. Scientific studies that the CGS has run on a state-wide or location-specific basis include geologic mapping of potential oil- and gas-bearing rock formations, understanding geothermal heat flows, and the (historical) characterization of coal reserves. The CGS is not a resource regulatory agency, rather, it provides an important research platform to support other state agencies that do regulate the use of public resources. Every year, the CGS publishes an annual report on the state of the mineral and energy industry in Colorado and historically produced a range of reports on oil and gas, oil shale, coalbed methane, uranium, and geothermal resources. We also prepare an annual chapter on the mineral and energy sectors of Colorado’s economy for CU-Boulder’s Leeds School Business Economic Opportunity Forum annual forecast.