Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Monday, January 25, 2010

New York State's 2010 clean energy agenda: An overview

As 2010 gets underway, New York is taking bold steps to address climate change -- with aggressive goals, regulatory mechanisms, incentives for energy efficiency, and initiatives to foster innovation. Building a clean energy economy is one of the cornerstone's of the State's agenda for 2010. Here are some highlights from a recent release from the Governor's Office:

Long-Range Planning
  • 45 by 15: Governor Paterson has set a goal to meet 45 percent of the State's electricity demand through efficiency and renewable energy by 2015 – 15 percent reduction in energy use through efficiency, and 30 percent of energy supply through renewable electric generation. More than $750 million per year in public funding is currently allocated to the State's clean energy programs.
  • 80 by 50 Target: With Executive Order No. 24, Governor Paterson set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in New York State by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050. The Climate Action Council he created will prepare a draft Climate Action Plan by September 30, 2010, that will assess how each sector of the economy can reduce greenhouse gas pollution and how these actions support New York's goals for a clean energy economy.
  • 10-Year State Energy Plan: In December 2009, Governor Paterson accepted the State Energy Plan to make energy more affordable for New Yorkers in a carbon-constrained economy. The plan will ensure that New York continues to lead the nation in advancing clean energy and will keep more of our energy dollars in-State. The Plan is built around producing, delivering and using energy more efficiently; supporting the development of in-State energy supplies; investing in energy and transportation infrastructure; stimulating innovation in energy technologies for the clean energy economy; and forging the necessary partnerships with other states and local governments to achieve common goals.
Regulatory Mechanisms
  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): New York was instrumental in the creation and successful implementation of the country's first mandatory cap and trade program. RGGI establishes a cap on power sector carbon dioxide pollution and reduces it over time using an auction to distribution emission allowances. The auctions are generating hundreds of millions of dollars that will be reinvested in clean energy measures to help New York's families and businesses cut their energy use and their carbon footprint.
  • Energy Codes: New York is updating its energy code to ensure new construction meets minimum efficiency standards. Several municipalities around the State are exceeding the code by adopting "Energy Star" standards.
Incentives to Improve Energy Efficiency and Increase Use of Renewable Energy
  • Encourage greater investments in renewable resources to help meet the ambitious energy reduction goals for New York.
  • Increase use of solar photovoltaic systems 7-fold within the next two years through expansion of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, revision to net metering laws and innovative use of power purchase agreements with the Long Island Power Authority and New York Power Authority. 
  • Focus on energy efficiency, a cost effective tool to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases, with more than $750 million annually being invested in energy efficiency programs for natural gas and electric customers.
Initiatives to Foster Innovation
  • Smart Grid Consortium: New York utilities, universities, industry and government are partnering to share information and experience in developing a Smart Grid for the State. The Public Service Commission pre-approved over $800 million in smart grid demonstration projects statewide that utilities have proposed for funding under ARRA. New York's utilities are the only ones in the nation to receive such pre-approval.
  • New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium: In May 2009, Governor Paterson created the NY Best Consortium to foster collaboration among the State's universities and industry to increase the speed of innovation in energy storage technologies and seek to develop battery manufacturing facilities in NYS. That same month, GE announced that it would build a new battery manufacturing facility in Upstate New York.
  • Clean Energy Incubators: New York has established four clean energy incubators across the State to help turn new inventions into viable business enterprises, with an additional two that will be announced in the coming weeks.
More information on New York's efforts to combat climate change can be found at: