October 17th, 2020 by NRDC
The Public Service Fee has issued an vital order which units out a roadmap for attaining the state’s bold purpose of acquiring 70 p.c of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2030. A press launch summarizing the order is accessible here.
How Did We Get Right here?
First, a fast recap. In July 2019, Governor Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) into legislation, which cemented New York State as a nationwide chief in ramping up clear vitality and the broader combat towards local weather change. The legislation requires a 40 p.c discount in statewide greenhouse gasoline emissions by 2030 and a discount of at the least 85 p.c by 2050 in addition to attaining web zero emissions by that date. No state has a extra aggressive emissions discount goal. The legislation additionally requires that the state:
- receive 70 p.c of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2030 (and that the electrical sector be emissions-free by 2040)
- add 9,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2035
- add 3,000 MW of storage by 2030
- add 6,000 MW of distributed photo voltaic (the sort that usually goes on rooftops) by 2025 (a doubling of the present quantity)
- A statewide purpose of lowering vitality consumption by 185 trillion British thermal items (BTUs) from the state’s 2025 forecast via vitality effectivity enhancements
Assembly these targets will dramatically cut back fossil gasoline era that harms the well being of New Yorkers and worsens the consequences of local weather change whereas offering important job and grid benefits.
Attending to 70 % Clear Electrical energy Will Be a Heavy Carry
Attaining 70 p.c renewable vitality within the energy sector by 2030 gained’t be straightforward. Presently, New York will get about 28 percent of its total electricity from renewable sources, and the overwhelming majority of this (about 80 p.c) comes from giant legacy hydropower services owned and operated by the New York Power Authority. Scaling up renewables to hit 70 p.c in 10 years would require an enormous quantity of latest clear era to return on-line between every now and then.
Step one to make this occur was to ascertain a continuing to ascertain how this course of will work. This previous summer season, the Division of Public Service, along with the New York Vitality Analysis and Growth Authority (NYSERDA), issued a whitepaper setting out a plan for achieving this goal. NRDC together with various different environmental organizations filed two units of feedback (here and here) that raised various factors, together with establishing a full procurement schedule to get to 70 p.c renewable vitality by 2030, the creation of latest tiers of renewable vitality credit for present renewable vitality services (known as Tier 2), and guaranteeing that this system be designed to offer advantages to deprived communities as required by the CLCPA.
The Order Units Out a Path For Attaining this Objective
The order issued by the Fee largely achieves these targets. Most significantly, it units out a timetable to attain 70 p.c clear vitality by 2030 by establishing a procurement schedule with an annual goal of 4,500 gigawatt hours yearly (the present goal is roughly 1,500 gigawatt hours). It additionally establishes a aggressive Tier 2 program that gives monetary assist for present renewable services (primarily photo voltaic and hydro) to make sure that these services can proceed to function and contribute to the state’s local weather and clear vitality targets. The order additional authorizes NYSERDA to subject offshore wind solicitations of between 750 and 1,000 megawatt hours from 2021 to 2027.
The order additionally approves the creation of a Tier Four for renewables which are situated in or are straight interconnected into New York Metropolis. NRDC helps the purpose of Tier Four to make sure that New York Metropolis residents are capable of entry the well being and carbon advantages of renewable vitality, but additionally considers it important that any particular contract beneath Tier Four clearly display that it really “advances the general public curiosity” and the targets of the CLCPA. NRDC will carefully monitor the implementation of the Tier Four program to guarantee that these insurance policies are adopted, notably with respect to avoiding impacts to Indigenous Peoples and frontline communities.
Equally vital is guaranteeing the state’s growing old transmission construction is upgraded and enhanced to maneuver this renewable electrical energy to demand facilities. In a separate order, the Fee established standards for figuring out precedence transmission tasks and greenlighted the primary of such tasks — the Northern NY Project. Identification of such tasks and their completion are vital in guaranteeing that the targets of the CLCPA are met.
These orders are particularly encouraging and essential given the federal authorities’s failure to guard People from local weather air pollution. Given the Trump administration’s continued inaction on local weather change, it’s vital that states like New York step into the breach, taking instant motion to scale up clear vitality. This order demonstrates the facility of states to make sure continued local weather progress and represents a vital step ahead in attaining New York’s aggressive CLCPA targets.
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