by Chris de Morsella, Green Economy Post Chris is the co-editor of The Green Executive Recruiter Directory. Follow Chris on Twitter @greeneconpost

Major Green Industries with a significant presence in the state are: solar, wind, algal biofuel.

New Mexico, at seventh place was listed among the top 10 states in Clean Edge’s second annual US Clean Energy Leadership Index, which is an analysis and ranking of how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum, based on analysis and ranking of how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum.

The Pew Charitable Trusts “Clean Energy Economy Report“ found that in 2007 New Mexico reported 577 cleantech businesses that provided a total of 4,815 green jobs. Over the decade 1998-2007 employment in the New Mexico cleantech sector grew by 50.1% compared with a 1.9% growth in overall employment for the state over the same period. Over the two year period (2006-2008) New Mexico saw around $148 million of venture capital invested in its cleantech sector.

Renewable Energy Job in New Mexico

In 2009 New Mexico had 31 renewable energy companies, and provided 1,695 direct and indirect renewable energy jobs in the state. New Mexico also passed a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2007, requiring utilities to generate 20% of their 2020 sales from renewable resources.

The state is also the home of one of the countries most important renewable energy laboratories. The Sandia National Laboratories Renewable Energy Division.

The U.S. solar power market grew a record 67% last year, making it the fastest-growing energy sector, the industry reports .Its market share jumped from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $6 billion in 2010. New Mexico is amongst the top 10 states for PV installation in 2010, in seventh place. As of 2010 the state had 45 MW of cumulative installed solar power capacity.

NRG Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, is building the 20 megawatt (MW) New Mexico Solar Project, which is on track to be one of the first large-scale solar projects built in New Mexico and the largest photovoltaic (PV) project in the state. It will create up to 240 construction jobs

In 2010, New Mexico had 700 MW of installed wind capacity, adding an additional 102 MW of capacity in 2010. It also has 14,135 MW of new wind projects in the development queue. New Mexico currently ranks 17th in total wind capacity installed in the US. The state currently gets 5.0% of its electricity from the wind and is ranked 11th in the US in 2010 for percentage of electricity derived from wind.

An advanced algal biofuel company, Joule Unlimited has reported (on May 2011) that they have signed a lease for 1,200 acres in Lea County, New Mexico, with the potential to scale the project up to 5,000 acres for production of renewable algal diesel and ethanol directly from sunlight and waste CO2. In addition, In March of this year (2011) Sapphire Energy announced its first pilot scale outdoor pond growing facility, Algae will be cultivated by Sapphire Energy in man-made ponds about 8 miles west of Columbus, New Mexico on the Mexican border, to later be converted to a green goop called algae-based biofuel, algal fuel. Luna County, where the facility is located, is considered ideal for algae-based biofuel because of the flat desert conditions, the high level of sunlight, and the large amount of underground salt water.

Two of the nation’s largest geothermally-heated greenhouse operations are located in the state (Burgett and Masson), along with a major aquaculture raising facility (AmeriCulture), and the heating of a university campus (New Mexico State University).

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