As the federal government has shied away from confronting climate change, the responsibility is starting to fall on the individual states and their own climate initiatives. A big part of the effort to mitigate climate change can come through the adoption of renewable energies like solar and wind. New York is one such state that has a robust energy plan and has been working to reform their energy vision for the coming decades.
The purpose of New York’s energy plan is to build a “clean, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.” Right now, a large portion of energy is produced through unclean sources, like coal and oil. The focus is to phase these sources out and instead focus primarily on solar and other renewable sources. This plan, and similar plans across the nation, are great ways for citizens to see how they can fit into the collective effort for 100% renewable energy adoption.
New York State Energy Plan
In 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo initiated New York’s energy policy, called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). REV focuses on building an integrated energy network that combines the benefits of the central grid and clean, locally generated power. It proposes a partnerships between government and industry to achieve the goal of a stronger economy and cleaner environment.
The aim of New York’s energy plan is to meet the following goals by 2030:
- 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels
- 50% electricity will come from renewable energy resources
- 600 trillion Btu increase in statewide energy efficiency
These goals will be met through a combination of state and private efforts, which will be largely fueled by investments through REV. The energy plan also includes things like:
- Policy recommendations to guide efforts for advancing new energy technologies
- Addressing energy concerns and provide info on the state’s initiatives
- Energy supply and demand forecasts
- Statewide greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerabilities of the energy system
- Information on the environmental health impacts that are related with energy use and production
The hope with REV is to help consumers, businesses, and other entities make better choices about energy. It will also create incentives for the development of new energy products and services to help meet these goals.
Where Is New York Now?
Since 2014, when the energy policy was initiated, NY has already made some big moves in their efforts to adopt renewable energy solutions to meet their goals. There are many different renewable energy sources that are involved in this plan. Some of the highlights include:
- Land-Based Wind Power - Wind turbines are used to generate a clean and renewable source of electricity that emits zero greenhouse gases. There are currently 21 large wind projects in New York, which contribute 1,754 megawatts of electricity to the grid. There are also more than 200 small projects for homes, farms, and businesses.
- Hydroelectric Power - Hydroelectric power is generated by the force of falling or flowing water. In New York, there are over 300 hydropower stations. The largest hydropower station is the Robert Moses Niagara plant.
- Solar Power - Solar power is produced when sunlight makes contact with photovoltaic cells. Solar is one of those most widely available sources of energy that is also renewable and non-polluting. In New York, solar energy is contributing significantly to helping them meet their renewable energy goals. Solar sourced energy in New York State has increased almost 800% from 2012 to 2017.
More On New York Solar
One of the best ways to make an impact as an individual is to adopt solar at your own home. The first step is to find solar providers near you. Once you have found the right solar options, you can have the panels set up in just a matter of days. New York state also provides many incentives for homeowners.
On top of helping New York meet their goal, as a solar owner, you will also see many financial benefits like long-term savings and an increase in your home’s value.
Do Your Part
New York State is doing a lot to develop renewable energy in the state, and you can contribute to this vision of sustainability by going solar. Solar energy is a huge part of the renewable energy landscape and will amount to a large portion of New York’s energy demands. Solar is one of the easiest forms of clean and renewable energy to be adopted on a massive scale, so do not hesitate in making the switch to solar!