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Letter to the Editor: NEDO: Good Investment But More is Needed...

on September 19, 2012 - 6:14am

NEDO: A Good Investment in our Future But We Need to do More to Make it Pay Off

By Stephanie Garcia Richard
Democratic Candidate for NM House District 43
Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval and Rio Arriba Counties

Yesterday Los Alamos County hosted a significant event that many consider New Mexico's entrance into the future of energy production for the nation.

That event was a ribbon cutting for the "smart house" demonstration project integrating photo voltaic energy production, battery storage, and computer controlled distribution and use.

The project team included a consortium of Japanese industries (NEDO), county utilities and LANL.

The southwest has abundant sunlight and has the potential to generate enough power to meet the nation’s needs; however, storage and distribution are the key elements that will make this source viable.

Future development using the research capabilities of LANL, applied research demonstrated by the Japanese, and production, manufacturing, and construction will result in jobs for New Mexicans.

We have seen the cost of PV dramatically reduced. Now using the information gained from the NEDO project New Mexico could lead the nation in solar energy production, storage and "smart grid" design. The opportunities are enormous. Is the state up to the task?

This will require some risk taking that the County and NEDO are poised to invest in. But more so, it will require changes at the state level to allow these new industries to grow and flourish in New Mexico.

The current political and financial condition of the state may not support this investment. Commercial financing has long been lacking in New Mexico.

To attract that investment we must improve education and healthcare statewide. The state also needs to step up and begin encouraging direct investment in New Mexico start-ups and companies that agree to move here.

Investors need confidence that the state is an attractive investment with strong educational opportunities and excellent health care.

Just as LANL needs to attract the best and brightest, the state needs to rank highly in education, opportunity, and health care to attract investment.

Bold planning and a clear vision for the future of New Mexico will be necessary to seize this opportunity. I welcome your thoughts and questions as we jointly explore this future: StephanieGarciaRichard@gmail.com or 505 500 4343.

 


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