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Green New Deal Raises Bar for Clean Energy

Gov. Andrew Cuoma wants to more than double new large scale, land based wind and solar projects. (4dr14nqg/pixabay)
Gov. Andrew Cuoma wants to more than double new large scale, land based wind and solar projects. (4dr14nqg/pixabay)
January 17, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for a massive expansion of clean energy in New York.

In his State of the State and Budget address on Tuesday, the governor called for a commitment to move New York State to 70 percent carbon free electricity by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040, the most aggressive clean energy goal in the country.

According to Anne Reynolds, executive director of Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the accelerated pace of Cuomo's Green New Deal builds on progress that the state already is making toward a clean energy future.

"There's so many proposed projects in New York, and the price of those projects is coming down,” she points out. “So there's just great momentum for renewable energy, and he can see his way clear to aiming for these ambitious goals."

One key to meeting the new target will be increasing the state's procurement of offshore wind, raising the goal from 2,400 megawatts by 2030 to 9,000 by 2035.

The governor also has doubled the target for distributed solar power to 6,000 megawatts by 2025 and more than doubled goals for large scale, land based wind and solar resources – goals Reynolds maintains can be met.

"It is achievable as long as the state remains committed to contracting for projects at an accelerated pace and getting projects built," she states.

The plan also calls for deployment of 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030.

Electricity accounts for only 20 percent of carbon emissions in New York. Transportation is 40 percent.

While the governor did not propose new initiatives for electric vehicles, Reynolds points out that cleaning up the electric grid is a necessary first step.

"So eventually, if you had 100 percent carbon free electricity and electric transportation, you've eliminated that other 40 percent of emissions," she states.

If the new goals are met, New York will achieve 100 percent clean energy five years sooner than the target recently adopted by California.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY