Department to Design Clean Energy Standard, Ensuring that 50% of Electricity in New York State Comes From Renewable Energy Resources by 2030
Announcement Comes as New York and World Leaders Continue Climate Change Discussions in Paris
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the State Department of Public Service to design and enact a new Clean Energy Standard mandating that 50 percent of all electricity consumed in New York by 2030 result from clean and renewable energy sources. The Governor’s letter directing the Department of Public Service to begin today the establishment of the new standard can be viewed here. This announcement is made as New York and world leaders convene on climate change in Paris this week at COP 21.
“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and we must act now,” said Governor Cuomo. “As discussions continue in Paris, we are taking real, enforceable actions in New York to lay the foundation for a thriving clean energy economy. With one of the most aggressive renewable energy goals of any state in the nation, we are leading by example to ensure the possibility of a bright future for generations to come.”
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has taken bold action to modernize its energy system through the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). REV has laid the groundwork for the State and the private sector to aggressively add renewables. Now, the Clean Energy Standard provides a cost-effective, efficient, and enforceable mandate to meet the goal of ensuring clean, resilient, and affordable energy for all New Yorkers. It will result in lower costs for renewable energy and create new opportunities to scale large renewable energy projects.
Additionally, the Governor has directed the Department of Public Service to develop a process to prevent the premature retirement of safe, upstate nuclear power plants during this transition. As New York State continues to aggressively add new renewable resources, it cannot lose ground in the fight to reduce carbon pollution through the unnecessary retirement of safely operating nuclear power plants in Upstate New York. The early closure of those plants would result in increased carbon pollution from fossil fuel generators, reduced fuel diversity and unstable electric prices, as well as job losses and economic distress in Upstate communities. Support for nuclear plants is separate and distinct from the 50 percent renewable energy mandate.
Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State, who will be participating in the COP 21 talks in Paris, said: “Today's announcement codifies New York's commitment to powering statewide economic development with clean, affordable energy. The creation of a Clean Energy Standard is good public policy for the environment and our economy. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership and as part of his Reforming the Energy Vision plan, we aren’t just talking about protecting and preserving our environment for generations to come – we’re doing it every day.”
Audrey Zibelman, Chair of the Public Service Commission, said: “I am thrilled to see Governor Cuomo’s commitment to turn the State’s clean energy goals into an enforceable mandate. This mandate provides certainty and demonstrated commitment to development of renewable energy, which, in turn, will support the growing clean energy job sector. Given the critical importance of this initiative to achieve the goals of the State Energy Plan and the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, we will now begin the process and I look forward to engaging stakeholders as, together, we work to make the Governor’s new Clean Energy Standard a reality.”
The regulatory process to develop the Clean Energy Standard will include the opportunity for full and complete public and stakeholder participation. State law requires that the Public Service Commission takes all reasonable steps to meet New York’s goals set forth in the State Energy Plan. The Governor’s directive sets forth a timeframe by which the Commission should act. The new standard, which will be developed by the Department of Public Service to complement the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, is expected to be presented to the Public Service Commission by June 2016.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Cuomo's strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York's energy policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York’s energy system. This protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow @REV4NY.