The Next Decade of Renewable Energy In New York

May 9, 2013

New York State wants to develop more renewable energy projects to satisfy its goals for going greener under the laws established almost ten years ago by Gov George Pataki. The leadership at that time understood this was not going to be a “whiz-bam” kind of transition. In fact, it took almost a decade to achieve even modest successes.

The Next Decade of Renewable Energy In New York

The Next Decade of Renewable Energy In New York

This article from the Huffington Post recently reported on a study to find out just how successful New York has been on producing power from wind, solar, and water resources while also confirming that it is possible with substantial financial backing and a huge statewide effort, the entire state could significantly increase production of renewable power in the next decade. 

The Next Decade of Renewable Energy In New York

A new study says New York could get the power it needs from wind, water and sunlight by 2030 with a concerted push, though the state’s decade-long effort to significantly boost green energy shows how challenging that could be.

The study, led by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities, provides a theoretical road map to how New Yorkers could rely on renewable energy within 17 years. It would require massive investments in wind turbines, solar panels and more from the windy shores off Long Island to sun-exposed rooftops upstate.

“It’s doable,” said co-author Robert Howarth, a Cornell professor of ecology and environmental biology. “It’s way outside of the realm of what most people are talking about … But I think people have been too pessimistic about what can be done.”

In fact, New York has been committed to significantly increasing green energy production for the past nine years under its renewable portfolio standard, which is funded by a surcharge of less than a dollar on monthly electricity bills. Then-Gov. George Pataki began the program in 2004 with the goal of New York relying on renewable resources for a quarter of its electricity by 2013.

That goal, tweaked three years ago, is now for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support the production of about 10.4 million megawatt-hours of energy from hydro, wind, solar, biomass and landfill gas annually by 2015. The authority reported this week that it was 46 percent of the way to the goal at the end of last year.

New York is beautiful state. I know this because I grew up there. It is blessed with a wide variety of different landscapes, hills, mountains, beaches, lakes, rivers and even wide open farmland. The weather and wind conditions also vary widely from season to season with blistering hot summers and bitter cold winters and everything in-between including hurricanes and tornados. What this means is that, if done correctly all varieties of renewable resources could be put to use all year round. Wind, water, and solar. If New Yorkers support these changes they could begin to break free of oil and coal dependency.

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