SANTA FE, NM – On Wednesday, January 29th, the Santa Fe City Council made Santa Fe the first city in New Mexico to officially call for a fivefold increase in state solar energy production. The Council passed a resolution which highlighted the environmental, public health, and economic benefits of solar power, and urged the State of New Mexico and the Public Regulation Commission to set the goal of generating ten percent of New Mexico’s energy from solar power by the year 2020.
“We’re thrilled that Santa Fe has made the first move,” said Dominick Lawton, field associate with Environment New Mexico. “New Mexico should be a national center of solar energy: after all, we’re the second sunniest state in the country, and we receive over 300 days of sunshine per year. Let’s hope that Santa Fe’s support is the first step towards a bright solar energy future for New Mexico.”
The Council’s motion follows previous commitments by the City of Santa Fe to solar energy. Santa Fe’s municipal buildings and services are predicted to derive nearly 25 percent of their electricity from solar by the end of 2014. Currently, New Mexico as a whole produces only two percent of its electricity from solar power.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM research, solar installations nationwide grew by 27 percent from 2012 to 2013, and the United States installed more solar capacity than world solar leader Germany for the first time ever last year.
The resolution, “A Resolution Calling on the State of New Mexico and the Public regulation commission to Follow Santa Fe’s Lead in Making New Mexico the Nation’s Solar Power Leader and Set the Goal of Generating Ten Percent of the State’s Energy from Solar by 2020,” was introduced by Councilor Chris Calvert. Councilors Rebecca Wurzburger, Patti Bushee, Peter Ives, Carmichael Dominguez, and Chris Rivera were co-sponsors.