renewable energy New York

New York is throwing down the gauntlet with its new renewable energy mandate that seeks to reach 70% renewables by 2030. The bill labeled S6599 has targets of 6 GW of produced and distributed solar energy by 2025 and 3 GW of energy storage by 2030. This ambitious mandate rivals that of Washington, DC’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2032.

Local city and state governments are taking it upon themselves to make the move to 100% renewable energy since the current administration in DC is in denial about climate change and the need to move away from fossil fuels. While many of these local governments are making commitments to going 100% renewable what they are not doing is stipulating a deadline.

The majority of the cities that have issued 100% renewable energy mandates have set target dates of 2045 or 2050. It is more important to have shorter term goals as well that can help to benefit renewable energy companies and help reduce the damage to the climate and environment. A go-to standard for mandates has been the 60% by 2030 mandate from California.

This past Tuesday night, June 18th, the New York State Senate pass S6599, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act with a vote of 62-0. The provisions in the act call upon numerous sectors to participate in reducing 100% of human caused greenhouses gases by 2050. The act states a goal of “exercising a global leadership role on greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation.”

One of the main tenets of the bill formalizes the plan put forth by Governor Cuomo for New York utilities to derive 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This is a 20% increase over the current plan and further calls for the utilities to achieve 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2040.

The current goal of 50% renewable by 2030 already had the Empire State in a four-way tie when it comes to who has the most aggressive renewable goal for 2030. With the passage of S6599, New York’s mandate will go past even California and make it roughly equal to the 75% by 2032 goal pursued by Vermont and barely exceeded by D.C.’s goal of 100% by 2032. One has to realize however that these are moving targets that could go up and down dependent upon multiple variables.

While some may view New York in second place behind D.C. and Vermont, The District of Columbia has only 700,000 residents and Vermont, 600,000. New York State has a population of nearly 20,000,000 and represents exponentially more solar, wind and energy storage batteries. The mandate by New York will have a much bigger impact on policies going forward.

In addition to the above S6599 also sets the following goals:

  • 6 GW of distributed solar energy by 2025
  • 3 GW of energy storage by 2030
  • 9 GW of offshore wind energy by 2035

Plans for Reaching 70% – 100%

According to the instructions and stipulations laid out in the bill, the Public Service Commission of the state must come up with a program that will hit the 70% target by 2030 and 100% by 2040. The proposed program will be reviewed in 2024 and then every two years after that.

Cuomo has shown that his administration wishes to make bold moves in commitments to renewable energy initiatives. The governor announced Monday morning the day before the vote that the legislation will be signed by him.

ClearWorld applauds the state of New York for its aggressive approach to fighting climate change and setting clear targets for reaching 100% renewable energy. ClearWorld is a leading provider of solar LED lighting solutions with its unique patented RetroFlex technology.