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Planning to Reach '50 by 30' in New York

Achieving 50-percent renewable energy requires integrating smaller sources into the state power system. (Windtech at English Wikipedia)
Achieving 50-percent renewable energy requires integrating smaller sources into the state power system. (Windtech at English Wikipedia)
October 27, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Regulators, decision makers and environmentalists will gather in Albany next week to discuss how to achieve New York's ambitious goal for switching to renewable energy.

The theme of this year's Alliance for Clean Energy annual fall conference is "50 by 30: Implementing New York's Clean Energy Future." According to Ann Reynolds, executive director of the organization, achieving 50 percent renewable energy in New York by 2030 will be challenging, but doable.

"If we can get there, we will achieve benefits in terms of air quality, local economic development, diversifying our energy supply,” Reynolds said. “And we will be reducing the carbon emissions that cause global warming."

The conference is scheduled for November 2 and 3. It will include discussions of New York's Clean Energy Standard, legislative issues, energy markets and a keynote address by President Obama's chief energy and climate change adviser.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has made 50 percent renewable power by 2030 official state policy. State Energy Czar Richard Kaufman, who also will address the conference, said achieving that mandate will mean integrating renewable energy sources into the state's electric system in new and different ways.

"A hybrid electric system which is made up of large scale power plants as well as smaller scale distributed solutions where electrons flow in more than one direction and where supply and demand are dynamic,” Kaufman said.

He added that the governor's energy plan, called Reforming the Energy Vision, also includes significant policy initiatives for utilities to increase energy efficiency.

A year ago, getting to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 was still an idea, Reynolds said. And the 2015 conference was focused on demonstrating that the goal was attainable.

"We're so thrilled that over the course of this year we now have a mandate for 50 percent renewable energy in New York,” she said. "Now, though, we have to get into brass tacks about how can we achieve it, how can it be implemented, what are the details?"

Information about the conference is available here.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY