What does a new energy economy — a restoration economy — look like?
The message is simple:
New Mexicans do not have to sacrifice their comforts and can even achieve more disposable income by thoughtfully incorporating energy efficiency, renewables, and distributive energy into their lives.
New Mexico’s dream for a restoration economy envisions:
- Accelerated market penetration of renewables, energy efficiency and distributed energy;
- Assistance to local businesses to help them enter emerging green energy markets;
- Shrinking price margins between fossil fuels and renewable power generation;
- Tax structures that benefit renewable technologies and, once established, treat all power and heat technologies equally;
- Private and public investment (subsidies, tax breaks, loan guarantees ) that spur large wind and solar farms for energy export and replace coal-fired generation and gasoline-powered vehicles;
- Local “aggregators” who finance micropowers and microgrids, and negotiate fair contracts with Big Grid owners and operators;
- Rate structures that favor energy efficiency, not more profits for more electrons sold.
In order to accomplish any of these financial dreams, certain events need to occur:
- Public tax funds help support the conversion to the new energy economy. Production tax credits and similar financial instruments balance market price and start-up needs. Conversion costs — such as stability charges — have sunset clauses to encourage utilities and coops to incorporate the new energy system into their normal accounts.
- Incubator technologies have public funding for research, development, demonstration and deployment. No established technology receives more subsidies and/or accelerated depreciation than another.
- Consumer bills go down when consumers conserve energy and improve energy efficiency.
- Financing in high-growth areas such as Las Cruces and Albuquerque establishes the first aggregated micropower/microgrid complexes, two-way metering, and accommodations for rooftop renewables. (Long-distance delivery from central power plants adds about 20 percent to your energy bill.)
We know there are many financial tools. Some simple tools such as better energy labels, or recycling aluminum cans which eliminates all the greenhouse gases required for mining and processing ore can be very effective.
What is a restoration economy?
A restoration economy shapes fiscal policy and financing to help return our damaged atmosphere to its earlier health.
Restoring the atmosphere capitalizes on the expertise and imagination of environmentally-friendly businesses, venture capitalists, public funding and incentives, green collar jobs, and educated citizens who purchase goods and services that curtail greenhouse gas emissions. In the dream, the market and regulatory framework quickly level the playing field between the old system (centralized fossil fuel power plants feeding superhighway transmission lines) and the new system (the Age of Renewables, energy efficiency, and distributed energy).
Green Collar Jobs
Green collar jobs are good jobs with health insurance, benefits, meaningful work and job satisfaction.
One study says that wind energy in New Mexico could provide 20,000 construction jobs for large-scale wind projects with 52,000 jobs in operation and maintenance over 20 years, yielding an income of $6.4 billion.
Learn more about green collar jobs: