New Mexico has the potential for 100% clean energy in our lifetimes - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico has the potential for 100% clean energy in our lifetimes

In the conversation about climate change and global warming, there is one thing that is always missing: environmental ethics. Environmental ethics is rooted in indigenous knowledge and traditions, which have been developed by observing, listening, experimenting and adapting to the natural world. Nothing is more fitting, especially in New Mexico, which is home to 23 tribal nations.

Environmental ethics means having respect for the environment in which you live, showing thanks and appreciation and living sustainably, not for growth or wealth or greed.

An important part of living ethically and sustainably in New Mexico can be achieved through clean energy. Clean energy includes renewable energy sources that have little to no impact on the environment. Renewable resources do not emit greenhouse gases. Today, more than 10% of our nation is powered from renewable energy sources such as wind, sun and earth, but we have a very long way to go.

New Mexico’s beautiful landscape and blue skies are our ticket to a sustainable future, and it is within reach. So how do we move forward? How do New Mexicans reduce our carbon footprint and join the environmental justice movement by utilizing renewable energy? We start by committing to, and living in, a more responsible way.

With over 300 days of sunshine, solar energy is the way to go. Specifically, New Mexicans can begin to utilize photovoltaic (PV) cells to directly convert the sun’s energy into electricity. PV cells are found on everyday items like calculators, watches and parking lot lights. We know this technology works, so why don’t we use it to power bigger buildings and every home?

One reason is cost. In the United States, the average cost of a 10 kilowatt solar panel system – the amount of electricity for one household for one year – is $28,100. That’s expensive, but there is some good news. Once the solar panels are installed and working, the amount of electricity being generated keeps on working and might produce more power than what is needed. When this happens, the electric meter will run backward, and the utility companies pay the owner for the extra electricity. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates the cost of solar PV utility systems will drop by about 20% by 2025, with an end estimate that solar energy will be the cheapest source of power by 2050.

Central New Mexico Community College has offered a certificate of completion in photovoltaic systems, which trains New Mexicans on how to construct and maintain these innovative solar energy systems. Tax credits in New Mexico offer up to $6,000 or 10% off the total expense to install solar panels on residential or commercial buildings. The city of Albuquerque has increased its efforts by pledging to have all its government move to 100% renewable energy before 2025.

Adopting solar power for energy can preserve our Land of Enchantment with all its natural beauty. Reducing our carbon footprint will preserve our planet’s natural resources for future generations. But it will take everyone to be on board. As the New Mexican community, it is our responsibility to care for the land that we all love.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » New Mexico has the potential for 100% clean energy in our lifetimes


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Lawmakers discuss new oversight for NM prisons
ABQnews Seeker
Hefty legal settlements over past year ... Hefty legal settlements over past year draw attention, calls for action
2
Fishing Line for Dec. 8, 2022
Fishing Line
CATCHES OF THE WEEK ... CATCHES OF THE WEEK ...
3
New Mexico offers many options to hit the cross ...
From the newspaper
Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area ... Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area set among 600 acres of the Carson National Forest has nearly 19 miles of trails and another 11 ...
4
Micah Thunder uses his upbringing, personal experiences to craft ...
ABQnews Seeker
Musician is opening for True Story ... Musician is opening for True Story House at Echoes Brewery on Dec. 9
5
A homegrown solution for out-of-control health care costs
From the newspaper
It's depressing. Health costs are rising ... It's depressing. Health costs are rising - impacting patients, employers and providers. W ...
6
New Mexico voters show conservation and communities matter
From the newspaper
For candidates with strong conservation values, ... For candidates with strong conservation values, the 2022 midterm election was one for the ages. In N ...
7
Editorial: Egolf's involvement doesn't help restore trust in the ...
Editorials
It sounded a bit suspect from ... It sounded a bit suspect from the outset.    As speaker of the New Mexico House of Re ...
8
Why concerns were sparked over Public Regulation Commission candidates
ABQnews Seeker
Critics say panel lacks representation from ... Critics say panel lacks representation from northwest region of the state
9
Students rally to provide holiday cheer for homeless youth
ABQnews Seeker
Toy drive was largely pulled together ... Toy drive was largely pulled together by the La Cueva High School dance team