Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Richardson wants state to be leading renewable energy exporter

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, Schott Solar North America CEO Gerald Fine, and NM Tech President Dan Lopez, watch as Gov. Bill Richardson signs an executive order to create a green economy in New Mexico. (Photo: Lea Harrison)

Governor Bill Richardson, acting on recommendations from his Green Jobs Cabinet, signed an executive order that could help the state become that leader in renewable energy exports.

“A comprehensive green economy is critical to the future of New Mexico and will lead our state into a new era of economic vitality and stability,” Richardson said. “Today I am outlining a clear path to ensure our state capitalizes economically and environmentally on our abundant renewable resources and assets.”

The governor's Green Jobs Cabinet recommended five goals for the state, which include:

  1. To become a leader in renewable energy export.

  2. To become the center of the North American solar industry. This includes everything from research and development to manufacturing to the installation of solar elements in our buildings.

  3. To lead the nation in Green Grid innovation.

  4. To continue being a leader in green building and energy efficiency.

  5. To have an educational system that prepares New Mexico students for jobs in green technologies.

A wide scope of directives

Richardson’s executive order, signed at SCHOTT Solar's manufacturing plant in Albuquerque on Tuesday, lays out a wide scope of directives to reach these goals, and involves several state agencies, including the Economic Development Department, the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, the New Mexico Environmental Department, the Indian Affairs Department, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Department of Workforce Solutions, Public Education Department and Higher Education Department.

After signing the order the Richardson announced the release of the New Mexico Green Jobs Guidebook. The Guidebook provides an overview of green occupations, their education requirements, and resources available at New Mexico colleges and universities.

Expanded Tax Credits

Richardson announced he will seek legislation to expand the state’s Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit during the upcoming legislative session. The expansion will double the available credit for solar generators to one million megawatt hours. The Production Tax Credit expansion is critical for ensuring that there is an in-state market for the products from our growing cluster of solar manufacturers like SCHOTT, Emcore, and Signet Solar.

The Green Jobs Cabinet report is available one line here.

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