New York To Be Carbon Free By 2040

The current population of the state of New York is approximately 19.88 million people. In October 2018, the state utilities used fossil fuels (38.5%), nuclear energy (33.4%) and renewable energy (28.1%) to generate electricity. Currently, natural gas is the primary source of fossil fuel and hydropower is the primary sources of renewable energy in New York.

The state’s dependence on nuclear energy contributes to the exceptionally high electricity costs. In October 2018, the average cost of electricity in New York was 19.3 ¢ per kWh, which is the 7th most expensive price in the United States. New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo has laid out aggressive plans for the state to continue to move from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Governor Cuomo outlined plans for his “Green New Deal,” which includes aggressive mandates and goals for clean energy and money for offshore wind development. The Green New Deal will mandate New York’s power plants to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040. The plan is the most aggressive goal in the United States, five years ahead of targets mandated by the state of California. The key components in New York’s Green New Deal include:

1. Quadrupling New York’s offshore wind target to 9,000 MW by 2035, up from 2,400 MW by 2030

2. Doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 MW by 2025, up from 3,000 MW by 2023

3. More than doubling new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard

4. Maximizing the contributions and potential of New York’s existing renewable resources

5. Deploying 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030, up from 1,500 MW by 2025

The Green New Deal will create the State’s first statutory Climate Action Council, comprised of the heads of relevant State agencies and other workforce, environmental justice, and clean energy experts to develop a comprehensive plan to make New York carbon neutral by significantly and cost-effectively reducing emissions from all major sources, including electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, commercial activity, and agriculture.

Although I applaud New York’s aggressive carbon free program I am concerned that a rapid move may result in major power disruptions. State and federal governments that fail to include the private sector frequently implement an ineffective and costly program, as demonstrated in the state of South Australia, the province of Ottawa and France.

In my opinion, the most efficient and effective programs require collaboration with the private sector and the public sector. However, I believe New York’s program has the best intentions and will ultimately succeed, even with a few bumps in the road.

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