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New report shows New Mexico’s solar job growth is stagnant – for now.

Hidetsugu Tonomura

Numbers from thenational solar jobs census report are out and despite continuous investments in renewable energy growth here, it’s not looking very sunny for New Mexico, despite continuous investments in renewable energy growth –– for now.

New Mexico’s estimated jobs grew a whopping 0% in 2021 to 2022 according to the data, which was gathered from calls and surveys by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

The state’s numbers are troubling when compared to other states in the region –– like Texas, which grew its solar jobs by 8.7% to 11,250 jobs. New Mexico sits at just over 2,000.

“There was a lot of big projects that were delayed because of supply chain issues,” said Jim DesJardins, the executive director of the Renewable Energy Industries Association of New Mexico.

DesJardins said while the numbers do look strange, there are different industry sectors that explain the skew in numbers, including residential solar.

“They're operating in a different space than a utility scale project, which would account for a lot of temporary jobs,” Desjardin said.

Though, across the board, he expects the solar industry to triple in size in the coming years.

In 2022, state agencies invested $12 million in tax credits and approved 45% more solar projects than the fiscal year before.

On the state level, the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department told KUNM it doesn’t keep track of an exact count and can only estimate job numbers based on solar investment.

Bryce Dix is our local host for NPR's Morning Edition.
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