New report shows New Mexico leadership in decade of U.S. renewable energy progress

For Immediate Release

Albuquerque - New Mexico ranks #5 in the nation for wind and solar generation as a percentage of electricity consumption, according to a new report released today by Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. The project, Renewables on the Rise 2020, documents and compares the growth of five key clean energy technologies in each New Mexico over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. New Mexico has seen a 78-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun, while wind power production has increased almost four-fold since 2010. These findings come alongside the news that Connecticut-based Avangrid plans to acquire PNM Resources, New Mexico’s largest utility, in a merger intended to “further [Avangrid’s] growth in both clean energy distribution and transmission.”

 “A decade ago, fields of solar panels or windmills powering towns may have seemed like a wild fantasy, but the growth of renewable energy in New Mexico and other states like it are proving this clean energy dream is on its way to becoming a reality," said John Ammondson, State Director with Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. “The gains we’ve seen, especially in solar and wind, should give New Mexicans the confidence we need to aim even higher and continue picking up the pace. Now that Avangrid will be acquiring New Mexico's largest utility, it will be crucial that they continue to prioritize transitioning to clean and renewable energy, continuing to make New Mexico a leader in renewable energy in the Southwest and across the country at large." 

New Mexico’s continued top-ranking growth in wind and solar adoption comes as New Mexico transitions off of fossil fuels and towards 100% clean energy under the state’s Energy Transition Act. Innovative policies and New Mexico’s wind and solar capacity combined with technological advances and declining costs have played a key role in driving adoption, according to the report. 

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the study also shows the rapid gains achieved overall nationally. In 2019, the U.S. produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. 

“This project offers a timely reminder that clean energy technologies have risen to the occasion, and are already delivering for millions of Americans and New Mexicans", Ammondson said. “We are so much closer to the clean, renewable energy future we need than we were ten years ago, and we should keep working to ensure that the next decade brings us even further.”

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Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. For more information, visit www.environmentnewmexicocenter.org