MRGEDA Executive Director Kirstin Keller wrote a guest column for the Albuquerque Journal, published in May 2021. Below is an excerpt from the piece!
Double down on renewables to diversify NM’s economy
Across the nation, renewable energy development is booming. The U.S. Department of Energy reports renewables comprise the majority of new power sources brought online in 2021, and wind and solar technicians are two of the fastest growing jobs in the country. Why does this matter for New Mexicans? Thanks to our abundant wind and solar resources and our connection to the expansive Western Interconnection electric grid, we can support renewable energy production right here in our state, and even export surplus renewable energy elsewhere. New Mexico has vast renewable solar and wind resources just waiting to be leveraged to help New Mexico diversify its economy.
In our counties, Sandoval and Valencia, we know firsthand the importance of economic diversification for our rural communities. We have also seen how tapping into our renewable energy resources offers incredible opportunities for economic development. As rural communities around the country struggle with shrinking populations and correspondingly shrinking budgets, renewable energy offers hope as a way to attract businesses that may otherwise look elsewhere and bring in jobs that offer people a good living wage while staying in the community they know and love.
Fortunately, we have recent experience with connecting the dots across New Mexico to bring new businesses to New Mexico by touting our renewable resources: Facebook.