New York Legislature Renewable Energy Goals

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The world and its resources are finite, no matter how much we like to argue against this concept. Environmentalism is now more important than ever, and incorporating green energy plans into our homes, our businesses and our industries is an imperative step in protecting the very planet we live on.

For the average consumer of energy, however, the pressing issue of environmentalism may not seem like a natural step in saving money or even have much of an impact on daily life. State and federal polices make environmental protection an enticing incentive with rebates that encourage the usage of renewable energy on all fronts.

Renewable, green and efficient energy plans are more common than ever. Being environmentally friendly is a theme most apparent in our extremely aware, twenty-first century society. New York is a leader in clean, renewable energy and in the Rockland and Orange county service areas, choosing energy efficient plans is easier than ever.

Middletown residents and businesses can select environmentally friendly energy solutions for their homes and commercial properties without sacrificing cost effectiveness.

In just the last few years, New York has made a name for itself alongside the concept of renewable energy. Much of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s propositions and initiatives found their way as established laws, regulations and governmental programs, immensely contributing to New York’s status as a forerunner for renewable, reusable and clean energy.

Incorporate green energy plans is has quickly become the new mantra, one that we all should take to heart, because with green energy, we can save more and work to protect the planet we share.

Solar Energy and Consumer Incentives

Turning to solar power is the first step in incorporating green energy plans. Solar energy can save a homeowner, business owner or industrial company hundreds of dollars in savings because it’s renewable resource and easily produced with the simple, natural ingredient of sunlight.

The state of New York recognizes the massive appeal of solar energy as a renewable, clean resource. In 2012, Governor Cuomo had several key points on his agenda that were accomplished, one of them being the passage of tax exemptions for solar power. For income taxes that year, taxpayers were then able to utilize the credit entitled “Solar Energy System Equipment Credit” on the Form IT-255.

The tax credit reflects New York’s desire to make solar energy a desirable option by allowing solar projects to take root on a small-scale. This reflects the attitude of a long-term plan, allowing and encouraging residents to enjoy the advantages of using this renewable energy and the tax benefits that come along with it, despite much of New York’s solar energy not arising from large solar program efforts.

In 2014, New York introduced the NY-Sun initiative, with the target of 3,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems by 2023. The NY-Sun initiative is notably progressive, being woven in as a community, schools, and low-income housing solution with future solar projects.

Although the fact that these solar PV systems only provided a little more than 1% of the state’s net generation of electricity, New York still had almost 1,400 megawatts of installed solar capacity, which ended up ranking it 12th in the nation.

Renewable Energy Efforts

New York is no novice when it comes to harnessing energy from renewable resources. Aside from solar energy, the largest northeastern state draws its power from hydroelectricity.

Much of New York’s energy goals have been accomplished thanks to the 2.4-gigawatt Robert Moses Niagara hydroelectric power plant at Lewiston, New York, where nearby the iconic Niagara Falls rages on. When the plant opened its doors in 1961, it was the largest hydroelectric power plant in the entire Western hemisphere. Progress since its debut can be marked by the fact that the power plant has been knocked off its reigning throne of largest in the Western hemisphere to third-largest conventional hydroelectric power plant in the United States.

Wind plays a powerful role in generating the necessary energy for state consumption. Wind’s contribution is new, having been slated for the state’s utility-scale electricity generation in just 2000.

New York acted quickly on this renewable resource, however, establishing two-dozen wind farms with issuing funding for three new farms in early 2018. The estimated potential of the wind farms is nearly 140,000 megawatts, and there are talks of large-scale offshore wind farms on the state’s Long Island coastline, where one is, in fact in development.

Statewide Energy Goals and Achievements Through Progress

New York has set high standards for itself in its energy goals. The state stepped foot in clean energy territory back in 2004 with its first renewable portfolio standard, later modified in 2010 with a target of achieving 29% of renewable energy in electricity sales in a five-year span, by 2015. After hitting this goal, the state issued the Clean Energy Standard (CES), which instated the requirement of utilities and retail energy suppliers to acquire half of the electricity sold statewide to be obtained from clean energy sources by 2030.

Other energy goals include reducing 1990’s levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2023. In 2015, its efforts in clean energy and environmentalism have paid off thus far, as New York’s carbon dioxide emissions were the lowest in the nation.  State emissions rising from electricity generation have been in the decline since 2000, due in part to this turn to renewable resources, and of course, the retirement of petroleum and coal-fired power plants.

However, the CES is just a piece of a larger puzzle—the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), another brainchild of Governor Cuomo’s administration. The REV program strives to offer incentives for energy consumers, both financially and in terms of energy efficiency. REV’s 2030 energy goals are in the same vein of CES, one target being to reduce the 2012 levels of energy consumption in buildings by 23% by 2030.

There’s also the New York Energy Highway initiative, an effort created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to modernize the energy system statewide. Thirteen proposed actions are presented within the project, all of which strive to address electric transmissions, the development of renewable energy and its sources, upgrades to the natural gas and electric infrastructure and measures that would provide clean power and electric generation and increase transmission capacity for nearly 3 million homes, and up to $5.7 billion in investments in both the private ad public sector.

Today’s REV goals are even more ambitious than its originally proposed targets, but New York’s ambition to be a global leader in renewable, clean, and environmentally conscious energy sourcing has proven successful since REV’s debut. REV 2030 goals include: ensuring that 70% of New York’s electricity is derived from renewable resources, 600 trillion Btu increase in energy efficiency across the state, and a 40% reduction of 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

New York is a leader in renewable energy, obtaining nearly three-tenths of its net electricity from these regenerating resources, specifically hydroelectricity, biomass, wind, and solar photovoltaic generation. Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive strategies for energy generation improvement trickle down to even the most modest consumers. From Middletown to Spring Valley, residents of Orange and Rockland counties can have a chance at incentives and overall improved energy efficiency.