New York State Public Service Commission is beginning to work through the details of the Clean Energy Standard that requires 50 percent of the state’s electricity to be provided from renewable energy sources by 2030.
New York’s goal is similar to the 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 law adopted by the California legislature last year. The Massachusetts legislature also passed an energy bill in 2016 ensuring that by 2030, 40 percent of the state’s electricity will be provided from renewable sources, while including a major commitment to offshore wind power.
New York, California and Massachusetts comprise 20 percent of our nation’s population. If these states were considered a country, they would comprise the fourth-largest economy of the world. These states show the promise of a sustainable, clean, renewable energy economy. Development of renewable energy not only counters climate change and the adverse health effects of polluted water, air and land, but offers substantial economic benefits as well.
Late last year, the Long Island Power Authority announced the approval of a 90 megawatt wind farm off eastern Long Island. The project is supported by 85 percent of Long Island’s residents, including a bipartisan political coalition of workers, unions, environmentalists and business leaders. The wind project will supply electricity to some 50,000 homes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set a goal of 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power.
New York’s new plan is the most comprehensive and ambitious clean Reenergy goal in the State's history. It is designed to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable low carbon energy supply.
New York’s Clean Energy Standard is also essential for the continued success of nuclear energy in the state, Nuclear Energy
Institute President Maria Korsnick told the New York state legislators recently.
“The Clean Energy Standard promotes renewable use in the state along with the preservation of nuclear energy,” Korsnick said.
“Nuclear is a vital component of this plan, as it provides the majority of New York’s non-emitting generation.”
In 2016, New York’s six nuclear reactors produced 42 million megawatt-hours of electricity, which represents 31 percent of the
state’s total generation and 58 percent of the state’s carbon-free electricity. Thirty-seven percent of New York’s carbon-free energy
comes from hydroelectricity, while wind and solar account for just over 5 percent.
“New York’s nuclear plants produce ten times the state’s wind electricity and as much as all of the solar electricity produced by the industry across the entire nation,” Korsnick said. “Including nuclear plants in the Clean Energy Standard enables New York to quickly and cost-effectively reach its environmental goals.”