Earlier this week (Aug. 1) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) introduced a new renewable energy standard for the state, which was approved by the state’s utility commission. It will require its utilities to source 50 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030. The new standard, which will require the state’s utilities to source 26.31 percent of their electric load from renewable energy like wind and solar power and will continue to ramp up the amount of renewable energy they source each year between now and 2030, all while keeping additional costs to most residential consumers below $2 a month.
"New York has taken bold action to become a national leader in the clean energy economy and is taking concrete, cost-effective steps today to safeguard this state’s environment for decades to come," Governor Cuomo said. "This clean energy standard shows you can generate the power necessary for supporting the modern economy while combatting climate change. Make no mistake, this is a very real threat that continues to grow by the day and I urge all other states to join us in this fight for our very future.”
The governor did not explain whether or not the new mandate included particular carve-outs for wind, solar or distributed generation like rooftop solar power. The new standard will require utilities and the state’s energy suppliers to purchase renewable energy credits which will be paid to help developers finance renewable energy projects. The standard also will help the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and by 80 percent by 2050—from the state’s 1990 levels. However the state also will rely on its nuclear electric generation to help meet the clean energy needs.
Despite some drawbacks renewable energy advocates praised the state’s new standard. “A 50 percent Clean Energy Standard (CES) is a huge win for New Yorkers, and solar power is going to be key in making this win a reality,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “As the implementation process begins, SEIA looks forward to working with Governor Cuomo and the Commission to ensure the new policy meets the 50 percent goal.”
"Generating 50 percent of our electricity from clean, renewable resources will improve our public health, create local jobs and attract private investment,” said Vote Solar Northeast Regional Manager Sean Garren. Vote Solar shares the Governor’s vision of a modern energy system that prioritizes clean energy sources and gives all New Yorkers the opportunity to participate in and benefit from our growing clean energy economy.”Tweet