More Power For New Mexico

By REGINA WHEELER
CEO, Positive Energy Solar

New Mexico’s solar industry is ready to provide the state with clean power and jobs, while reducing the industrial pollution that is exacerbating droughts, causing health impacts and threatening the local economy. Now, our state’s abundant solar potential is becoming all the more important as the Obama Administration issues new public health protections limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

On July 29, hundreds of people will flock to Denver to attend a Western regional hearing on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, our nation’s first limits on carbon pollution from power plants. The Plan represents an unprecedented opportunity for states to build a true clean energy economy by moving away from coal and other fossil fuels.

The truth is, the Clean Power Plan will only help to hasten the transition that’s happening across the country: as the costs of getting energy from outdated coal plants rise and clean energy prices plummet, individuals, businesses, and some utilities are choosing clean energy. In fact, new analysis from the investment bank Citigroup shows that solar and wind power are already competing on costs with dirty fuels in the U.S.

From a pure economic standpoint, stockholders have been deserting their investments in fossil fuels for a couple of year. The risks and costs associated with fossil fuel plants caused Barclay’s to downgrade bonds for utilities. This situation all but ensures serious profitability problems for existing utilities relying on fossil fuels, which means that consumer rates for energy will rise as the utilities attempt to maintain fiscal balance. 

Luckily for us, New Mexico has some of the best solar energy potential in the U.S. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, solar power in New Mexico has the potential for supplying more than all of the electricity used in the state. Already, there are more than 87 solar companies at work in New Mexico, employing close to 2,000 people.

Not only will an investment in solar energy help to create jobs and protect consumers’ pocketbooks, but it will also protect our climate. At a time when the Southwest is experiencing some of its driest months on record, and Lake Mead – the biggest source of drinking water in the region – has sunk to its lowest level in almost a century, it’s imperative that we move away from carbon-intensive fuels.

New Mexico has an abundance of clean, 21st century solar energy that is already working for thousands of people in our state. The new Climate Action Plan will help improve upon what we’ve already started.

About Positive Energy Solar

An employee-owned company, Positive Energy Solar is the largest certified Benefits Corporation in New Mexico, a distinction earned for providing good wages, benefits, and growth opportunities for team members; contributing to schools and non profits; delivering 100 percent satisfaction to its customers; and selecting products for long term performance and low environmental impact. Positive Energy Solar is New Mexico’s leading residential and commercial solar installer. Visit www.positiveenergysolar.com.

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