A new funding proposal supporting large-scale renewables such as solar and wind power could see New York State become a national leader in clean energy employment – and result in a big drop not only in carbon emissions, but also electricity prices.
In a submission of strategies for guiding the Empire State towards its climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has proposed a commitment of USD $1.5 billion over 10 years for the expansion of large scale renewable energy technologies.
Such an investment represents a small fraction of the tens of billions New Yorkers spend on conventional energy sources annually according to NYSERDA, and would come with the benefit of stimulating the state economy, eliminating pollution and creating thousands of new jobs.
“The new strategies and commitment will enable New York to make meaningful progress towards the State’s clean energy goals at the lowest possible cost, while setting large scale renewables on a path to a subsidy-free market and providing opportunities for customers to more easily procure clean power on their own,” the submission states.
The proposal forms part of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program, a plan for building a smarter, cleaner energy system. Under the scheme’s NY-Sun initiative, 3,000 MW of solar panels will be added by 2023 and a fleet of 40,000 electric cars will hit the road by 2018, serviced by up to 3,000 EV charging stations.
NYSERDA oversees New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which has so far enabled the development of nearly 1,900 MW of renewable energy in the state since 2004.
But as President Obama’s EPA-led Clean Power Plan begins rolling out across the U.S. and seismic advancements in technology change the landscape for large-scale wind and solar energy, a fresh strategy was required, according to NYSERDA president and CEO, John B. Rhodes.
“Large scale renewables continue to play a critical role in advancing New York’s clean energy goals and its economy,” he said. “While building upon the success achieved to date, the State is developing strategies to engage greater private sector involvement to continue the growth of renewable energy that will protect the environment and stimulate economic development.”
The $1.5 billion proposal responded to input from local industry and market feedback. NYSERDA has recommended a number of policies, frameworks and financing structures to support large scale renewables and has submitted them for public comment.