Yesterday (Dec. 18) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that by 2040 the state would get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources. He made the announcement as part of a larger, ambitious agenda, asserting “New York's Declaration of Independence from Washington.” The move was heralded by solar and renewable energy advocates.
“The federal government still denies climate change, remarkably turning a blind eye to their own government's scientific report. New York will be the most progressive state in the nation in moving to renewables and growing the new sustainable green economy. The Green New Deal will make New York's electricity 100% carbon neutral by 2040 and put the state on the path to eliminating its carbon footprint,” the Governor’s office stated in Cuomo’s "2019 Justice Agenda.”
"Let this agenda be New York's Declaration of Independence. We declare independence from this federal government's policies. We disconnect from the nationalism, and the racism, and the chaos, and the xenophobia, and the misogyny, and the discrimination, and the dissembling of this Washington administration,” Cuomo stated. "We proclaim our Federal Government's policy not only regressive, not only repugnant to New York values, we declare it un-American. Let us pass this ambitious progressive agenda as New York's restoration of true democracy, restoring fairness, progress and pride."
The move was heralded by renewable energy advocates like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "Governor Cuomo's commitment to move New York to 100 percent carbon-free electricity is historic, and will cement New York’s place among America’s clean energy leaders. This plan can bring massive economic and environmental benefits to communities throughout the state, spurring many new, well-paying jobs and cleaner air,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s Vice President of State Affairs.
If the state takes action to enact Cuomo’s vision New York would become the fourth state to commit to 100 percent clean energy. It would join California, Hawaii and New Jersey, which have already put clean energy ambitions on the books. However, New York would is setting an even more ambitious timeline, California, for instance aims to achieve the goal by 2045.
"Governor Cuomo's commitment to moving New York to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 will lead the Empire State and the nation towards a future with healthy communities, a safe climate, and a strong clean energy economy,” said Sean Garren, Vote Solar’s senior director for the Northeast.
In the interim SEIA and others will work with New York to expand solar and renewable energy in the state, which already has nearly 1.6 gigawatts of solar power installed already. ”We look forward to working with the Cuomo Administration to craft the near-term plan for reaching this long-term goal. Specific examples include doubling down on solar and committing to obtaining 6 gigawatts of solar by 2023, establishing strong policies in the ongoing Value of Distributed Energy Resources case and bringing more large-scale solar to New York.”
New York has been expanding not just solar power but also other forms of renewable energy in the state and supporting infrastructure. For instance, last week Cuomo announced that the state would increase its energy storage target to 3 gigawatts by 2030.Tweet