Albuquerque, NM - Since 2008, New Mexico has increased wind production nearly three-fold and solar energy production 995 times.
Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, a report released by Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center, provides a state-by-state assessment of the growth of key technologies needed to power the nation with clean, renewable energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. The report shows that New Mexico ranks 17th in wind production and 12th in solar nationally.
“While our production of wind and solar energy has increased over the past decade, we are not yet reaching our potential,” stated Sanders Moore, director of Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. “As the second sunniest state in the country and the twelfth windiest, we should be a national leader in the renewable energy sector.”
The report also highlights advances in the use of energy storage and electric vehicles that can help catalyze the clean energy revolution in New Mexico. New Mexico ranks 16th for battery storage and 25th for improvement in energy efficiency programs.
“New Mexico has such potential for renewable energy growth. We are surrounded on all sides by western states that rank higher than New Mexico in renewable energy production,” said Karen Paramanandam, business development manager for SunPower by Positive Energy Solar. “They have set the bar and it is up to us to rise to the occasion and if we all work together we can raise that bar even higher.”
The report describes the factors that rapid growth in each category since 2008, including policies, improved technologies and lower costs, all of which suggest the potential for continued rapid growth in the years to come.
“New Mexico has seen progress on clean energy,” said Moore. “But, in order to ensure a healthy future for our kids, we need to continue to lead with by transitioning New Mexico as quickly to a future powered by renewable energy. We’ve built a good foundation, with state policies and cities leading the way. Bu we need to build on the foundation and expand our state policies and growth in cities, towns, and counties across the state.”
The report comes as a diverse group of U.S. cities, states, corporations and institutions commit to 100 percent renewable energy. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the country to set a 100 percent renewable energy requirement, and similar bills in both Massachusetts and California have cleared major hurdles this year. At the local level, 61 American cities, led by a mix of Republican and Democratic mayors, have committed to that goal, including Las Cruces. In addition, 131 major companies, including Bank of America, Google and Anheuser-Busch have committed to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy.
Repowering our economy with clean, renewable energy can put our nation on a healthier, more sustainable course. And with rapid improvements in technology, vast clean energy resources, and a willing public, a future powered entirely by clean, renewable energy is increasingly within our reach.