ECONOMIC IMPACT: Building a green economy

In communities across the country, renewable energy projects are having positive economic impacts. And while broader economic trends may disrupt some existing industries, many local economic development corporations see renewables as a way to help boost local businesses, create 21st-century energy jobs, and raise revenue for state and local governments. In New Mexico, new wind farms are helping counties weather the financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“There’s a groundswell in state and grassroots efforts in New Mexico to tap into the burgeoning economic development and job-creation opportunities associated with building a green energy economy…

‘We hear a lot of rhetoric that solving the climate crisis means holding the economy back and sacrificing jobs, but it’s completely the opposite, especially for a state like New Mexico that’s rich in renewable resources,’ Cristopher Moore [a professor with the Santa Fe Institute] said…

The transition to clean energy is creating immense demand across the West for renewable generation, providing opportunities for New Mexico to export wind and solar electricity to other states if the needed generation and transmission gets built.

A new report by New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, or RETA, estimates that the state’s gusty eastern plains have enough wind potential to supply about 137 gigawatts of electricity. To date, New Mexico has built less than three gigawatts of wind facilities.

The American Clean Power Association estimates New Mexico could generate nearly 14,000 new jobs over 10 years under plans to convert the grid to 50% renewables by 2030…”

Read the full story in the Albuquerque Journal

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