Clean Energy in New York

Written by Erika Sobelman, ESLLLC 2016-2017

In 2014, a permanent moratorium was established on hydraulic fracturing in the state. Although there have been issues arising since the state still imports natural gas to heat homes statewide, this acknowledgement on behalf of the legislation in New York shows that the state is moving to be cleaner.

Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a goal for the state of New York obtaining 50 percent of the state’s power from renewable sources by 2030. New York has been a progressive leader when it comes to clean energy and action on climate change. A major victory in this field came earlier this year when the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) approved the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, which will be located in between the east end of Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard. This farm will power upwards of 50,000 homes. While this is only a small fraction of homes on Long Island, the power authority’s chief executive, Thomas Falcone stated “It is the largest project to date, but it will not be the last project.” This message from Falcone is a positive one and shows a bright future for clean energy on Long Island as well as the whole state of New York.

New York has also seen almost 800% growth in solar power since 2012; the state also provides financial incentives for “businesses, schools and homeowners defray the upfront cost of installing on-grid solar energy facilities.”. Although the primary source of energy in New York is natural gas, this wind farm (as well as future wind farms) and increases in solar panels will threaten that statistic.

Having the third largest population by state in the United States, New York has a lot of energy to deal with and the steps they are taking to make sure that that energy becomes clean are very good for the people and environment of New York. These steps should be a model for other states around the country; to set goals, and make concrete moves to get closer to those goals. The time is now to for statewide initiatives to move towards renewable, clean energy that won’t threaten humanity or the ecosystems of our country.

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