New Mexico’s solar energy potential is vast and the adoption of solar panel installation is growing exponentially, and for good reason. There are a variety of benefits it provides well outside the scope of the simple energy generation. From economic impacts like job creation across the state, to the personal benefits of reliable renewable energy independence and, of course, environmental benefits! Solar energy has earned its growing role in the industry and is only continuing to expand. Here are 6 reasons we’re thankful for Solar in New Mexico
A Booming Industry
In just the last five years, jobs in the solar energy industry have more than doubled to 209,000, and are beginning to absorb other industry workers with the expectation to reach 420,000 by 2020. In fact, several programs have developed over the years, offering training for job seekers from veterans to displaced fossil fuel employees! The New Mexico solar industry is no exception; according to the New Mexico Solar Jobs Census, our state employed 1,899 people in 2015 and has continued to grow annually; Positive Energy Solar employs more than 85 solar professionals in New Mexico.
Energy Savings & Independence
The ability to generate your own power and reduce your dependence on the local utility is a huge benefit for most New Mexicans. First and foremost, every watt of energy you generate from your solar panels is going to be far less expensive in the long run than what you purchase from the local utilities. Furthermore, through the process of net-metering, you receive credit for any excess solar energy you produce which is put back onto the grid for others to use down the line. The cost of batteries for solar storage is also coming down in cost. By adding battery storage for your solar panel system, you can ensure that you’ll be protected if the power goes out with a reliable backup energy source.
The Sun is as Reliable as it Gets!
Solar in New Mexico works better than most states. That’s because we receive over 300+ days of sunshine! Energy sources don’t get much more reliable than the burning ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of our solar system. To put the power of the sun in perspective, in just one hour enough light hits the planet to power the entire world’s economy for a whole year! With Sunpower solar modules, you’ll capture more of New Mexico’s solar energy due to their high efficiency and receive a 25 year all-inclusive warranty. That’s reliability!
Clean Energy & Water Conservation
The benefits of clean energy and the effects of climate change are a hot button topic for many people. While there are groups who question the impact humans have had on the current warming trend, erring on the side of caution can only be good for future generations. If you didn’t know, we use water to pump crude oil out of the ground, remove pollutants from power plant exhaust, flush residue after fossil fuels are burned, cool power plants, and much more. In drought-stricken states like New Mexico, solar is beneficial in lowering our water consumption.
More Efficient Grid
A vastly overlooked component to the impact solar power is having on how we consume energy is how it is transforming the way we distribute energy across the state. Before renewables penetrated the market, the energy for any given area was obtained from a very limited number of sources. This meant that any obstruction in production or transmission could have negative consequences for thousands of people. Now, with an increasingly large number of solar installations sending energy back into the grid, the sourcing of our energy has become decentralized. The result is a far more resilient, flexible and efficient system. More sources feeding into the grid means it’s far less likely something knocks out the bulk of our generation in one catastrophic event, plus when energy is consumed closer to its source there is less transmission loss.
Incentives & Accessibility
Installing solar in New Mexico can net you a Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) equal to 30% of the solar energy system costs. There are no sales taxes either. The cost of owning your own solar array is becoming more realistic every day. At its core, solar is an investment in unlimited, less expensive energy. More and more financial institutions have come to recognize that solar in New Mexico is an attractive and trustworthy investment. With more banks and credit unions offering solar loans as little as $0-down, solar panels in New Mexico are more accessible and affordable than ever!