New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) office hasn’t officially confirmed it yet but yesterday news broke that the Governor plans to direct the New York Public Service Commission to codify requirements that half of the electricity produced in the state by 2030 must come from renewable sources. It’s a move that’s already being supported by renewable energy advocates like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
According to NRDC, New York Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman has sent an email stating: "Governor Cuomo will issue a mandate, called the Clean Energy Standard, to ensure that New York State will achieve 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.”
It’s just the latest in a series of moves that Cuomo has made to strengthen renewable energy in the state. Last month he pledged to create a carbon market in the state, for instance.
“This is a huge step forward,” wrote NRDC’s New York Director of Energy and Transportation Kit Kennedy. “The ’50 by ’30' goal was included in the State Energy Plan this year, but action by the Public Service Commission is needed to make this goal a reality that is measurable, implementable and enforceable. We're excited to learn all the details and are hoping for a formal announcement from the governor soon,” she said.
“By directing the Public Service Commission, which regulates the state's utilities and electric system, to adopt and implement enforceable policies needed to get half our electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030, Cuomo will win New York a place as one of the leaders nationally in this space,” Kennedy said. Indeed, only California and Hawaii have renewable portfolio standards as high. California’s Gov. Brown signed his state’s new RPS into law in October.
"Governor Cuomo’s plan to implement a 50 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) represents a strong endorsement for solar power as part of a responsible approach to a clean energy future,” said SEIA President Rhone Resch. "A 50 percent RPS is a significant milestone toward addressing New York’s climate goals, and reaffirms the state as a leader in seizing the economic advantages of clean energy. We applaud Governor Cuomo for this ambitious and vital policy measure and look forward to working with him and with all New Yorkers as they make this imminently achievable move to bring what is now a widely available and cost-effective power source to all corners of the state.”
Under the state’s current RPS more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy has been brought online in the state according to Kennedy. Most of it was onshore wind power, but more recently rooftop solar has driven growth. “All while driving over $2.7 billion of direct investments in the state economy. It's been highly cost-effective as well, generating roughly $3 of investment for every $1 of public support for the programs,” she wrote.Tweet