If the city's politicians can turn policy into reality, Albuquerque could someday be The City Renewable.
In the past few years, Gov. Bill Richardson has repeatedly been quoted saying he plans to make New Mexico the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.” So how is the former Energy Secretary keeping his promise? And what—besides declaring New Mexico a “clean energy state” and mugging through photo ops while switching from a Lincoln Navigator to a hybrid Ford Escape SUV—has the governor done to make New Mexico a more efficient, more alternative energy kind of state?
Signed into city law last September, the initiative has nine main goals, which include:
• To develop a program that provides tax incentives and credits to companies that manufacture solar energy products or technologies.
• For all city-owned buildings and facilities to use 15 percent renewable energy within seven years—and for all new city-owned buildings over 100,000 square feet to be equipped with renewable energy technologies that would generate 25 percent of the building's energy.
• To expand current city investments in energy efficiency and to add investments in renewable technologies. (Currently, the city spends 1 percent of its capital improvements money on energy conservation projects.)