100% RENEWABLES REPLACEMENT POWER
Unleashing New Mexico's Potential by Creating a High-Employment,
High-Innovation Renewable Energy Economy
New Mexicans face a choice: Should we accept a status quo defined by stagnant wages, high unemployment, and rising pollution? Or should we opt to invest in innovation, competitiveness, sustainability, and self-reliance?
The answer: People want a high-employment, high-innovation clean energy economy.
New Mexico - A Global Renewable Leader
Download full report, "Unleashing New Mexico's Potential" [pdf] - our technical roadmap outlining a path to 100% renewables for the New Mexico's electricity sector by 2035.
Our state has demonstrated capacity to serve as a global leader in the transition to renewable energy. With world-leading sun and wind resources, a hardworking people, and the technical capacity, New Mexico is poised for an extraordinary accomplishment: To become the first state to achieve a 100% renewable electricity sector.
Our report lays out a specific and achievable path to such a transition over the next two decades. The report provides a detailed overview of the economic rationale for a clean energy transition. It concludes with actionable steps for state policymakers to help realize this vision.
The transition to a high-employment clean energy economy starts with the state’s largest electricity utility, Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). Through the addition of 700 megawatts (MW) of solar power and 1750 MW of wind power by 2035—a development that is both technically and financially feasible—it’s possible to meet the needs of PNM’s 500,000 customers. In doing so, we can drastically reduce the state’s air pollution, carbon emissions, and water usage while creating thousands of new jobs and facilitating the emergence of a new advanced energy business cluster in the state. It’s a win-win proposition for our economy and our quality of life.
Across the political spectrum, people want clean air and water and new drivers of economic development. The clean energy transition will help manage rising risks of climate change, setting a far-reaching example of how states can exercise leadership and achieve a low-carbon economy. At the same time, the clean energy transition can lessen our dependence on unpredictable energy markets and volatile foreign governments. Crucially, the expansion of energy choice strengthens the forces of market competition in a crucial sector of our state’s economy.
The Road Ahead: Realizing the Energy Transition
New Mexico policymakers can take clear and immediate steps to realize the promise of a high-employment clean energy economy.
Market-Oriented Decision-Making: Create competitive market-based assessments that allow investor-owned utilities, regulators, and energy consumers to evaluate and compare all energy options before acquiring new energy supplies to ensure cost-effectiveness and transparency. Additionally, eliminate regulatory biases toward expensive fossil fuel and nuclear projects. Read about
Empower Communities to Make Their Own Energy Choices: Allow people to pool their energy load and make purchasing decisions collectively to reduce costs, create local jobs, and meet shared energy objectives like sustainability and price stability.
Strong Statewide Standards: Building on the success of New Mexico’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law and those in other high-performing states, lawmakers should strengthen clean energy targets to reflect the preference of 84% of New Mexicans and realize the vision of an all-renewable electricity sector.
The ultimate objective of this report is to demonstrate that a comprehensive clean energy transition is not only feasible—it’s necessary and it’s now underway. The costs of wind and solar have declined exponentially over the past decade: Solar, for example, is now 130 times cheaper than it was in the late 1970s. Concurrent with these falling costs, political support for renewables has risen to unprecedented levels.
New Mexico’s transition to a 100% renewable electricity sector can happen with a series of clear steps:
Bring 1,200 MW of new solar and wind capacity online over the next 10 years and another 1,200 MW of new solar and wind capacity over the following 10 years.
Adopt usage of large-scale energy storage systems by 2030.
Undertake a responsibly-timed phase-out of existing coal and nuclear power plants:
Retire all remaining units of San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) at the end of the current coal contract, which expires in mid-2022.
Terminate interests in 114 MW at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station Units 1 and 2, whose current leases expire in 2022 and 2023.
Retire 200 MW of coal at Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP) in 2025.
Withdraw from the remaining 288 MW of capacity at Palo Verde by 2030.
The timing of these steps enables New Mexico to realize the benefits of a considerable economic stimulus through the construction of new clean energy generation facilities, while managing the economic adjustments over time. A core principle of this clean energy transition is that it must be fair for all New Mexicans—providing improved livelihoods while lessening dependence on polluting fuels.
This energy transition respects our state's land-based economic traditions while generating new opportunity for our people. While our old path has failed to produce adequate employment, affordable energy, or sustainable environmental conditions, we thankfully have a new and viable path: innovation, sustainability, competitiveness, and resilience. It's up to citizens and policymakers to take steps today to ensure that we realize this vision.
Read Recent News: 100% Renewables Replacement Power Campaign