Since 2009, New Mexico has 388 times the amount of electricity it gets from the sun, and four times as much wind power production, according to a new report released today by Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. The report also highlights advances in the use of energy storage and electric vehicles, and New Mexico ranked 25 among the states for improvements in electricity energy efficiency programs.
“Every day, there’s more evidence that a future fueled by renewable energy is within our reach,” said Arcelia Isais-Gastelum, fellow with Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. “The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give New Mexicans the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.”
The report, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, 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. New Mexico ranked 12th for wind and 13th for solar and 5th for percentage of consumption by renewables.
The report describes the factors that caused rapid growth in each category since 2009. They include innovative policies, improved technologies and lower costs -- all of which suggest the potential for continued development in the years to come. This was demonstrated during the 2019 legislative session, where New Mexico became the third state in the country to pass 100 percent clean energy goals. The Energy Transition Act mandates that 50 percent of the electricity generated by investor-owned utility companies must come from renewable energy by 2030 and be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045.
The report comes as a diverse group of U.S. cities, states, corporations and institutions are committing to 100 percent renewable energy. There are now seven states that have made commitments to 100 percent clean electricity. At the local level, 131 American cities, led by a mix of Republican and Democratic mayors, have committed to that goal, including Las Cruces. In addition, more than 180 major companies, including Bank of America, Google and Anheuser-Busch or Facebook have committed to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy.
“The reality is inescapable: Fossil fuels pollute our air, water and land, threatening our health and changing our climate even faster than scientists predicted,” said Christopher Fortson, Marketing Manager and Employee Owner of Positive Energy Solar. “We need to seize the moment, build on recent progress and lean into a future powered by clean renewable energy.”
“Repowering our economy with clean renewable energy can put our nation on a healthier, more sustainable course,” said Fortson. “Already we are seeing positive job growth, with no indication that it will be slowing down. 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.”