Big News from New York: Leaders Approve Plan to Achieve Aggressive Energy & Climate Goals

New York State continues to demonstrate climate leadership with last week’s annoucement of its new energy plan, which aims to double its use of renewable power sources (hydro, wind and solar) within 15 years, while amping up energy efficiency efforts. The plan’s aggressive targets will help guide policy and oversight decisions and will increase pressure to divert billions in public spending away from aging fossil fuel infrastructure and toward large-scale solar and wind projects. The new plan aligns with the Cuomo administration’s 2014 Reforming Energy Vision to give residents more control over their energy choices, while encouraging them to reduce energy consumption. The integrated plan maps out a future where people’s “smart” homes produce as much energy as they consume, communities share the costs and benefits of local solar and wind projects, and businesses save money by reducing electric usage during peak periods.

While critics argue that grid reliability and carbon emission reductions won’t be achieved without substantial private investment, market innovation, and interplay with wholesale energy markets, the framework sets clear benchmarks and standards to operationalize Governor Cuomo’s prior commitment to reducing climate pollution 80 percent by 2050. 

Congratulations to the Cuomo administration for its leadership in making these important commitments to promote clean energy and combat climate change. We look forward to the next big step by New York’s state legislature: “time for these goals to be set into law”. Stay tuned to watch the race with other states like California, Vermont, and Hawaii … all competing to lead the way in fighting climate change.

State plan sets aggressive clean-energy goals

By Scott Waldman | Capital New York | June 26, 2015

ALBANY—Half of New York’s power will come from renewable sources in the next 15 years, under a new state energy plan released Thursday.

According to the plan, the state will try to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. New York now gets just under a quarter of its power from renewable sources, including, hydro, wind and solar, but that will double to 50 percent in the next 15 years, the plan says.

The state also plans to increase energy efficiency efforts by 23 percent.

The long-awaited and long-delayed plan will guide energy policy for more than the next decade. It will affect decisions on the construction of new power sources, oversight of private energy markets and the spending of billions of dollars in public money. It will also likely lead to offshore wind projects and more large-scale solar developments. The plan addresses the impacts of climate change and accounts for the effects of natural gas infrastructure now being built or planned throughout New York.

New York’s energy ideas are being watched around the globe, said John Williams, director of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

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