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New York steps up green efforts after Trump's Paris decision

New York sunrise. Author:Anthony Quintano. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

June 5 (Renewables Now) - New York governor Andrew M Cuomo on Friday announced the “largest clean energy procurement by a state in US history” with solicitations to procure 2.5 million MWh of electricity from renewable energy sources.

Following US President Donald Trump’s Thursday announcement that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the governors of New York, California and Washington, which together represent about 68 million people, announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance. Its goal is to convene US states committed to upholding the Paris climate deal. The list of participating states is growing fast with Massachusetts and Vermont joining by Friday.

Cuomo on June 1 signed an executive order under which New York commits to meet the standards set forth in the climate deal. On the next day he unveiled the new renewables procurement plan, which is part of the wider Clean Climate Careers initiative that is seen to create 40,000 of “good-paying” clean energy jobs by 2020 in the state.

“As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to address climate change -- at the expense of our environment and economy -- New York is leading the nation in advancing a clean energy future,” Cuomo said.

SOLICITATIONS

The State is issuing requests for proposals (RfPs) from qualified developers to build renewable energy capacities to produce 2.5 million MWh annually. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will procure 1.5 million MWh of electricity and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will procure 1 million MWh from wind, commercial solar and solar arrays, small and large-scale hydro, fuel cell and other technologies.

More RfPs will follow in the coming months and years, with 40 to 60 large-scale renewable energy projects expected to be developed by 2022 under the Clean Energy Standard.

By the end of 2018, the state’s overall solar power generation capacity is poised to double to over 1,600 MW from about 800 MW today, and keep growing. At the end of 2016 New York ranked tenth in the US in terms of installed solar, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). It ranked 13th for wind with 1.8 GW of capacity in the first quarter of 2017, shows a fact sheet by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY & PUBLIC SOLAR

Cuomo announced that NYPA will double annual investments in energy efficiency and solar deployments under the BuildSmartNY and K-Solar programmes to USD 300 million (EUR 267m). As part of the plan, NYPA is seen to install over 125 MW of solar at schools and other public buildings by 2020, for a 300% jump in distributed solar at public facilities statewide.

OTHER EFFORTS

The huge investment in renewable energy projects is expected to create thousands of jobs for middle class New Yorkers. Under the state’s Clean Climate Careers initiative, USD 15 million will be provided to educators and trainers partnering with the clean energy industry and unions to offer training and apprenticeship opportunities.

The governor has also set up an Environmental Justice and Just Transition Working Group to develop policies and programmes to ensure a "just transition" to a clean energy future. “We look forward to advising the State on ensuring a ‘just transition’ to a post-fossil fuel economy as it invests in historically-disadvantaged communities and creates family-supporting jobs,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.

The first Working Group session will convene in June.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.89)

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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