499 Capstone Blog – Kristopher Cordova

New Mexico is a state that struggles with poverty, ranking number two in the nation. 17% of Albuquerque’s residents have incomes below the poverty level (Source). The cost of living is by far the biggest expensive these residents must pay. Low-income households essentially pay more for energy simply because infrastructure in these areas are not as sustainable as other areas. It costs more to heat or cool houses when that extra money can be spent elsewhere (Dinan & Miranowski 1989). Current pricing for photovoltaic solar systems in Albuquerque ranges from $7,000 to $30,000. These prices engulf the yearly income of most residents living under the poverty line. By implementing photovoltaic solar systems in low-income communities, the city can provide free energy powered by the sun to families in need. Not only would this help close the gap on energy injustice in the city, but it would also transition the cities energy system to a sustainable system. This comprehensive report would cover the main barriers in adopting solar system, GIS based suitability analysis and research, and an In-depth look to see if solar energy is only being used by middle to upper-class citizens in the Albuquerque area. The goal of this report would be to show the energy injustice in the city, if any, and how implementing solar around the city can be beneficial for lower-class citizens. By doing so create equitable energy for the Albuquerque area.

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