Filtered by category: Alliance for Clean Energy New York Clear Filter

New York’s Carbon Emission Reduction Goals Will they be enough and will they be in time?

Greenland approaching the threshold.

Dramatic action to cut greenhouse gas emissions has never been more urgent. Carbon emissions increased nationwide last year by 3.4 percent, ending three years of decline. Our action needs to (1) be speedy and (2) effect large-scale change. Today we learn that Greenland’s Ice is melting much faster than previously anticipated, with a dramatic 4 times the ice loss compared to 2003, and that the warming threshold could be passed in a matter of years, making Greenland meltdown and rising seas irreversible. At the end of last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we may only have 10-12 years to get off fossil fuels soon enough to reverse and begin to stop this terrifying trend.

We salute Governor Cuomo for addressing climate change as one of his third-term priorities: Raising the state’s target for renewable electricity from 50 to 70% by the year 2030 symbolized this commitment and would be a tremendous accomplishment. In particular, committing to fund 8 new positions to speed the siting of renewable energy projects - solar and wind power - at the Department of Public Service is critically important. He has raised the bar by pledging to bring 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. Achieving these goals includes making New York State a national hub for offshore wind power.

But New York is up against a huge backlog of renewable projects awaiting state review and approval. It is hard to believe, with all the talk about New York’s leading role, but the state has only approved one renewable project since the passage of its power plant siting law in 2011. That is Public Service Law Article 10, originally crafted to ensure minimal environmental impacts from large gas and other fossil fuel plants, and now making approval of solar and wind projects unnecessarily expensive, unpredictable and cumbersome. Adding muscle to the reviewing staff will help: a full review of the regulations and practices is also essential.

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The word for 2019? MOMENTUM!

If your mission is to promote clean energy in New York – like ACE NY – then you are feeling pretty good right about now. What I mostly feel is: momentum.

Governor Cuomo’s Jan. 15th State of the State speech is a great example.  He again mentioned a Green New Deal for the State, and he provided some important insight into what he means: a renewable energy standard for electricity of 70% by 2030; a goal of 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035; and a Climate Change Council to chart the pathway to economy-wide carbon neutrality. All three are really positive wins for clean energy.

The Governor’s written description of his proposed budget – fondly referred to as the Budget Book (starting on page 70) – has more details on what a Green New Deal could entail. For one, the 70% Clean Energy Standard would be supported by a doubling of the NY-Sun goal for distributed solar by 2025, right on target for the goals of the Million Solar Strong campaign, of which ACE NY is an active member.

The super ambitious 9,000 MW offshore wind mandate is an incredible step forward for this nascent industry. It is supported by a $200M investment in port infrastructure, on target for what the New York Offshore Wind Alliance was advocating, recognizing that bringing the offshore wind industry to New York in a real way will require modernized port facilities. What a job creator that will be! We truly applaud the State’s commitment to offshore wind. The Governor recognizes that offshore wind is a key energy industry of the future.

In the midst of these heady goals, renewables developers don’t forget the pragmatic details of developing projects, so we are happy to report that New York State isn’t either: the Budget Book outlines 8 new staff positions at the Department of Public Service – positions sorely needed to effectively process the robust pipeline of renewable energy projects – too many of them stalled -- that the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard has stimulated.

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New Year/New Energy: Ambitious Long-Term Goals Start with Concrete Action Today

The new year brings new hope for building renewable energy in New York State. Gov. Cuomo’s aggressive goal of achieving 50% of our electricity from renewable resources by 2030 puts New York in a Nation-leading role. But we are in danger of coming up short if we can’t get more projects built, making the even more robust target of eliminating fossil-fuel generated power by 2050 elusive.

The Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) is excited to welcome the 2019-2020 Legislature to Albany. Our members -- renewable energy developers, energy efficiency companies and environmental groups -- look with anticipation to the new political lineup in the Capital. The Senate’s new leadership and many new members face a challenging and unprecedented opportunity to act. ACE NY member companies are ready and able to invest in New York’s path to a clean energy future through the construction of renewables in the state, such as wind power, solar energy, and offshore wind.

How can we get to 50% clean power by 2030? A successful plan to achieve 50% renewable power has four parts. First, we need to keep the existing renewable energy generators operating and selling their output here. Second, we need to craft and implement a pathway to achieve the ambitious energy efficiency goals assumed in the Clean Energy Standard calculations. Third, we need to ensure that rooftop and community solar will flourish by guaranteeing adequate and predicable compensation. Fourth – and most important – we need to build far more grid-scale renewable energy generation and we need to build it almost 5 times faster than we have for the last decade. This is doable, but will require sustained commitment to the pragmatic details of getting projects not only into the pipeline, but built.

Let’s remember that ambitious long-range goals start with concrete action today. In New York, this requires a more efficient, timely and well-staffed implementation of Article 10 of the Public Service Law to review and permit projects. This, and the actions outlined above, are the necessary complements to the excellent policy foundation provided by the Clean Energy Standard. Our collective success will mean new jobs, a stronger economy, cleaner air, and real steps to a livable climate for all New Yorkers.

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Cuomo Delivers Sweeping Action on Energy Efficiency, Storage


The Public Service Commission approved two orders to advance New York's leadership in energy efficiency and storage. The energy storage order is expected to pave the way for energy storage resources to be paired with solar energy for maximum benefits.

As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

At today’s public meeting, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approved two major initiatives that will help achieve Governor Andrew Cuomo’s bold vision for New York State’s burgeoning clean energy economy.

First, the PSC approved an order to dramatically scale up a critical cornerstone of any effective climate and clean energy portfolio: energy efficiency (EE). Department of Public Service (DPS) staff outlined an EE plan that—if effectively implemented—will drive an estimated $15 billion in customer savings by 2025, according to DPS projections. Second, the PSC approved a nation-leading commitment to accelerating energy storage in New York—a technology that is becoming increasingly important to a clean and dynamic energy system.

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Key Capture Energy Guest Blogs about Importance of Energy Storage in Modernizing NY State's Electric Grid




As New York moves towards 50% clean energy by 2030, energy storage will continue to play an integral role of modernizing the state’s electric grid. The energy landscape in New York is quickly evolving, and New York State is increasingly incorporating storage technologies into the planning of its electric future.

In his 2018 State of the State Address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to lead the fight against climate change by continuing to pursue greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 through the integration of clean energy. In conjunction with these clean energy goals and to address the challenges with integrating and maximizing the benefits of clean energy resources, Governor Cuomo delivered the largest energy storage target per capita recorded yet by any state. His initiative strives to increase the transmission of clean and renewable energy while overcoming traditional grid infrastructure upgrades. Governor Cuomo pledged to commit $200 million of financing from the Green Bank and at least $60 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to achieve progressive energy storage deployment targets, in furtherance of his plan to achieve a nation-leading target of 1,500 megawatts (MW) of energy storage by 2025.

“Energy storage technologies serve a critical role in promoting a clean energy economy,” Governor Cuomo said regarding the energy storage deployment program. “Not only will energy storage technologies relieve pressure on existing transmission and grid infrastructure, they will enhance the development and uptake of renewable energy and create new ‘green’ jobs.”

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31 Groups Urge Gov Cuomo to Double Down on Energy Efficiency

31 Groups Urge Gov Cuomo to Double Down on Energy Efficiency

November 02, 2018 Jackson Morris  Ada Statler 

A coalition of environmental organizations, clean energy advocates, community groups, and building industry companies today sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging the state to take swift, bold action to follow through on its nation-leading pledge to accelerate energy efficiency in New York State. This past Earth Day, New York State announced a new, ambitious 2025 energy efficiency target: save 185 trillion British thermal units (tBTU) of energy, helping the state meet its 40 percent emissions reduction climate goal by 2030. The goal also envisions ramping up efficiency deployment so that by 2025, 3 percent of overall electricity demand is met bysavings rather than more power (a level being achieved by only the top efficiency states in the country).

But realizing this bold vision can only be achieved with smart and timely implementation—the state must act now to ensure we’re on track.

The letter’s signatories support energy efficiency as the cornerstone of the state’s clean energy portfolio and the many benefits clean energy provides, including lower utility bills (saving New Yorkers billions!), stable local jobs, a more reliable electric grid, and state-wide reductions in carbon emissions and other harmful pollutants.

As a coalition, we recognize that saving 185 tBTU is a long-term goal that will almost certainly require adjustments along the way. But thanks in part to extensive stakeholder outreach conducted by the Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), we know how to get started. The critical actions outlined below – and included in the coalition’s letter to the Governor – will help ensure the state is on track to meet its 2030 climate goals:

  • Establish clear cost-recovery mechanisms: There’s no denying that additional strategic expenditures are needed for the state’s investor-owned utilities to achieve their part of the state’s energy savings goal. But doing so requires a clear and overarching framework for cost-recovery. Absent that framework, utilities lack the clear signal to do their part.  
  • Ensure energy efficiency equity for all New Yorkers: Efficiency programs must be inclusive of all customers and prioritize investments for efficiency improvements in low-to-moderate-income communities.
  • Prioritize clean heating and cooling: Especially under the all-fuel savings target, scaling up the deployment of highly efficient electric heat pump systems to cut our reliance on oil and gas must be a core part of utilities’ efficiency efforts (in close collaboration with NYSERDA in order to ensure a coordinated statewide approach). As discussed in a recent report commissioned by NRDC, meeting a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2040 is not possible if we continue to heat our buildings with fossil fuels in the coming decades.
  • Establish an advisory body to ensure smart implementation and follow-through: Utilities will need to craft and implement programs designed to meet the state’s efficiency goals. Doing so effectively and in short order will require additional guidance. Setting up a statewide advisory council of experts would help utilities reach their goals while also providing greater transparency to stakeholders.
NRDC is committed to energy efficiency as an essential tool to save customers money, create good, local jobs, strengthen the state’s economy, bolster grid reliability and protect people and the planet. As this letter shows, we are joined by many stakeholders in New York who care deeply about energy efficiency and are closely tracking the progress made toward meeting the state’s bold energy savings target. We remain confident that together, we will meet this goal and cement New York’s position as a clean energy leader — but staying on track and reaping the benefits of a stronger, cleaner New York requires decisive action now.

Getting Renewables Sited in New York

Getting Renewables Sited in New York

By Erin Landy

The rate of permitting for large-scale renewables in New York State has become a major concern for ACE members and a potential roadblock in the path of the State achieving its 50% renewable energy standard by 2030. At the rate that new large-scale renewable projects are being approved, we will be nowhere near our goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. Only one project has been approved thus far, four applications have recently been deemed compliant (complete), and another 33 projects are in the pipeline. It seems inevitable that the Department of Public Service (DPS) will need more staff to process these applications in a workable timeframe.

At this year’s  ACE NY Fall Conference, the Article 10 siting issue was a major theme. Sarah Osgood, Director of Policy Implementation at NYS DPS spoke on one panel and stated, "We need to have a rigorous and comprehensive application and review process but — and this is I think a very big but — the process must work. Hard stop. It must work. It needs to be as frictionless and smooth as possible, and we're moving in that direction, but we clearly have work to do."

The Article 10 process is lengthy, expensive, and unpredictable. ACE NY has a number of recommendations on how the process can be much more efficient: We recommend more predictable and timely completeness reviews, a better stipulations process, the development and use of standardized conditions, and more open and  productive communications between applicants and staff at the various Siting Board agencies, including DPS, DEC, and others.

The good news? DPS has assigned Ms. Osgood to focus on improvement of the process at DPS, and we also hear that some consulting support is now available to help with Article 10 at the NYS agencies. This, and the recent completeness determinations, may be reason for optimism. Still, changing agency culture is tough, and it often appears like the staff encouraging renewables and the staff permitting renewables are from two different States – or planets.

ACE NY will continue to focus on this issue and welcomes ideas or war stories from members companies now engaged in Article 10.   

It's a Wrap! ACE NY Hosts Its Most Successful Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting

It's a Wrap! ACE NY Hosts Its Most Successful Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting

From Policy to Projects: Putting NYers to Work for Clean Energy -- ACE NY’s 12th Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting -- attracted over 200 attendees to the beautifully renovated Albany Capital Center October 9-10, from a broad range of industries, individuals, and media interested in clean energy.


Spotlight Speaker, Alicia Barton, President & CEO, NYSERDA, delivering a Clean Energy Update



Starting with a members-only Board meeting October 9, ACE NY’s growing membership of clean energy developers, nonprofits, and industry organizations used the rest of the day to engage in membership roundtable discussion groups that covered Article 10 issues and improvements, large scale renewables procurement by the state, and legislation on energy efficiency and distributed energy resources. The work-day wrapped up with a late afternoon panel discussion on the NYISO carbon charge proposal featuring panelists Michael Mager from Multiple Intervenors, Frank Murray from NRDC, Kathy Robertson from Exelon, and Chris LaRoe from Brookfield. The interest in the carbon charge panel was obvious, resulting in a standing-room only scenario and discussion lasting longer than the allotted 75 minutes from on-going member questions to the panelists about the topic.

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Harvesting the Sun Creates Challenges for Solar Farms

Harvesting the Sun Creates Challenges for Solar Farms

Anne Reynolds
Executive Director, Alliance for Clean Energy, New York

This article first appeared in the October 2018 edition of Grassroots, the New York Farm Bureau newspaper.

A mid-September community meeting in New York’s Greene County drew a crowd of more than a hundred local citizens with opinions about a 50 megawatt (50MW) solar facility proposed on active farmland in the town of Coxsackie. Billed as a public forum, the meeting was, in fact, controlled by opponents of the project. Misinformation was rampant and those wishing to speak in support of the project were silenced or shouted down. At the center of this proposal is a 1,200-acre farm site, of which 933 acres have been leased by the developer.

The founder of the local opposition group Saving Greene is a local landowner whose large home overlooks the proposed site. She handed out a map with inked-out areas it claimed to be destined for darkness. The leased site is completely blacked out. Yet the developer plans to use less than 400 acres for the solar arrays. The other two-thirds will remain in active farming or conservation.

Most important, in these difficult financial times for New York’s farmers, the owner says the lease of this portion of his land will allow him to retain ownership of the farm. In addition, the developer offers attractive financial benefits not just to the landowner but to the community as a whole. Developers of the Greene County Solar Facility have offered a $4-6 million payment package to the host community, local governments and school district, with the community to decide how best to use this economic benefit.

   It won’t be long before harvesting
   the sun is a recognized mainstay of
   the farming community.


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Earth Day Announcement of New Energy Efficiency Goal

National Energy Efficiency Day - October 5

Earth Day Announcement of New Energy Efficiency Goal

On Earth day of this year, April 20, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced a new energy efficiency (EE) target in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. The energy efficiency target, established in the New Efficiency: New York white paper, is 185 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) of cumulative annual site energy savings relative to forecasted energy consumption in 2025. This level of energy savings is equivalent to fueling and powering over 1.8 million New York homes by 2025. If achieved, the 2025 Energy Efficiency target will compensate for one-third of the 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2030.
How will we reach this goal? Our Suggestions:
We at the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), fully support this target. The challenge we now face is reaching this goal. ACE NY and Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) filed Comments on New Efficiency: New York that detail our suggestions for NYSERDA to include in the Energy Efficiency Order that is to result from the New Efficiency: New York white paper.
We suggest a focus on utilities; giving them aggressive goals, strong incentives, and clear guidance on funding. The next step in reaching the Energy Efficiency goal is fully defining the Utility-leveraged portion of Accelerated Actions and providing guidance to utilities on actions they should be implementing to ramp up their EE savings.
We urge the Commission to issue an Energy Efficiency framework order focused on the Utility-Leveraged Accelerated Actions by the end of 2018 that allocates a portion of the Energy Efficiency target to each utility and explains how cost recovery will work in the short-term.
We request that this Order, while maintaining flexibility for utilities, compel them to apply a methodology to value energy efficiency as a resource and commence regular competitive procurement of energy efficiency. There needs to be a funding mechanism and price signal to invest in and capture the value of EE potential. Directives from the Commission to utilities that increase their EE targets, plus provide clarity regarding cost recovery, will jumpstart EE.
Finally the PSC must be bold and timely, because we simply do not have any more time to wait to leverage the sizeable EE opportunity and meet the Governor’s goals for EE, renewable energy, and carbon reductions for 2025.

Made in NY? How can we foster voluntary corporate renewable energy buying in New York?

Made in NY? How can we foster voluntary corporate renewable energy buying in New York?

By Anne Reynolds

With the backdrop of United Nations VIPs clogging the streets of Manhattan, ACE NY hosted a breakfast panel discussion on corporate purchasing of renewable energy for Climate Week NYC to a standing-room only crowd. Richard Kauffman, New York’s Chair of Energy and Finance, set the context for the discussion, citing strong progress on renewables procurement by New York, including the draft RFP for offshore wind and reiterating NY’s intention to get this RFP finalized and released by the end of the year. (Exciting!). He also acknowledged the significant workload in getting renewable energy projects through the review and permitting process known as Article 10 and recognized the need to balance proper review with an efficient and timely process. Hopefully, New York will have more progress to report on Article 10 in the coming months.

Mr. Kauffman then outlined a “trial balloon” to get the conversation rolling: If the major barrier to getting renewables bought in NY vs. other states was a higher price for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), what if the state played a role in bringing down the price for voluntary purchases by a competitive auction and a public contribution to help make up the difference? An interesting idea.

Kara Allen of NYSERDA was a gracious moderator and began by asking our panelists to outline the benefits of voluntary renewable energy purchasing.  In response, Harry Singh of Goldman & Sachs cited their corporate sustainability goals, the interest in a possible hedge of energy prices, and the desire to have the procurement be related to their own load, i.e. near their footprint. While Goldman explored a deal in New York, it ultimately went with a wind project in Pennsylvania, mostly due to costs. For Cornell University, panelist Sarah Zemanick also cited sustainability goals, but also mentioned student and faculty demand for clean energy and the desire for a living laboratory – i.e. opportunities for research or education.  In the case of Cornell, there is also an interest in distributed projects that can be located on or near campus and offset their current campus-based fossil fuel electricity generation.

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National Clean Energy Week Ignites Passion for the Planet

National Clean Energy Week Ignites Passion for the Planet

By Kathleen Gasperini

National Clean Energy Week (#CleanEnergyWeek) is taking off as more organizations, brands, and fans are celebrating and embracing the movement to support clean energy solutions that address America’s economic, national security and environmental needs. With its second annual nationally recognized high-profile programming, running from Sept. 24-Sept. 28, National Clean Energy Week provides a time to put clean energy center stage. ACE NY is a proud partner organization of National Clean Energy Week, supporting the movement all week and beyond, including our participation at Climate Week NYC, with a panel discussion on New York and renewable energy. Working alongside other climate leaders from across the world, we’re coming together to present solutions and engage with others on climate change solutions.

In the larger scope, many business and political leaders have disagreed with the Administration’s decision to pull out of the COP21 Paris Climate Accord and have implemented their own goals, arguing that it abdicated American leadership on climate and threatened the country’s competitiveness in a low-carbon economy.

To date, 16 Governor’s, including New York’s Gov. Cuomo, joined forces forming the U.S. Climate Alliance. New York quickly took to a leadership position in the Alliance with Cuomo's progressive 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda.

City mayors from across the country have come together forming the U.S. Climate Mayors group to meet new clean energy goals. More than 2,642 mayors, including NYC’s Mayor de Blasio, CEOs, college presidents, faith organizations, tribal leaders, responded by forming the “We Are Still In” movement that pledges ongoing commitment to the Paris Accord goals. A related group, America’s Pledge, is tracking these commitments and attempting to measure their impact. So far, according to its initial accounting, these sub-national pledgees account for 2.7Gt in emissions. For comparison, U.S. emissions totaled an estimated 6.4Gt estimated in 2017.

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Made in NY: What Will It Take for Corporates to Buy NY Renewables?

Made in NY: What Will It Take for Corporates to Buy NY Renewables?

--ACE NY at Climate Week NYC

Corporate voluntary purchasing of wind and solar power has been so hot in 2018; it seems a new deal is announced weekly. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported a record-breaking 7.2 GW of global renewable energy purchasing so far in 2018, already well above 2017 levels.

But why isn’t it happening in New York?

Buying renewable energy through long-term power purchasing agreements is motivated by corporate sustainability goals, matched by the potential for long-term savings. The RE100 – a growing list of 140 companies striving to offset 100% of their energy needs through these agreements – reflects this marriage of eco-commitments and savings opportunities. And it is the U.S. and Nordic countries where corporate renewables buying is most active.

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ACE NY Excited to be Part of Million Solar Strong New York Coalition

ACE NY Excited to be Part of Million Solar Strong New York Coalition


ACE NY is excited to be part of the Million Solar Strong New York Coalition, a diverse mix of industry, environmental, justice and community organizations all united by the vision of a strong clean energy economy that works for all New Yorkers. We are committed to giving everyone a voice in energy decision-making.

Together, we are calling on Governor Cuomo to build a #SolarStrongNY by powering one million New York homes by 2023, which must include serving at least 100,000 low income households with affordable local solar, as well as renters and others who can’t otherwise go solar on their own rooftop.

This kind of bold solar leadership will create good local jobs, help New Yorkers save on utility bills, and reduce harmful emissions, while reducing inequality. Now more than ever, states can and must lead when it comes to climate and clean energy progress. We think that leadership should start right here in New York.

To achieve 50% renewable energy, New York is going to need new grid-scale wind and solar power, and continued investment in residential and community renewables, like solar. Both are critical to New York achieving success.
One million solar households is a bold but achievable clean energy goal. Visit to learn more about our policy roadmap for building a stronger, solar-powered New York.
On Tuesday, September 18th, join us to Rally for a Million Solar Strong on the Million Dollar Staircase in the NYS Capitol. 
What: Rally for a Million Solar Strong & Petition Delivery 
When: Tuesday, September 18th, 12PM
Where: NYS Capitol Building, Million Dollar Staircase
Who: NYS Elected Officials, Solar Industry Representatives, MSS Campaign Members, Home Owners, Home Renters, Housing Developers and Business Owners 
RSVPand share on Facebook!

How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles

How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles

By Anne Reynolds

This Week in New York: How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles

The last day of New York’s 2018 legislative session is next Wednesday, June 20th. State lawmakers have less than a week to wrap up their unfinished business, and any bills still stuck in committee when Legislators go home will be tabled until next January.

One bill that legislators should act on as soon as possible is Assembly bill 8248 (or its companion Senate bill 6600). This bill would lift the restrictive, outdated cap on the direct sale of zero-emissions vehicles to New Yorkers, allowing companies like Tesla to expand the adoption of clean transportation across the state.


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How to Return NY to "Top Three" for Energy Efficiency

How to Return NY to "Top Three" for Energy Efficiency New Year, New Energy

Posted on April 9, 2018

Re-posted from E4TheFuture Blog

By Steve Cowell

New York was once among the top three states–and can be again. Gov. Cuomo has called for ambitious new energy efficiency targets, and New Yorkers are urging the governor to present a statewide EE goal later this month that will help restore New York’s once-held status as a national leader.

Losing Ground: ACEEE Scorecard
Back in 2012, the ACEEE scorecard ranked New York #3 for public and utility programs among all states. By 2017 New York fell to #13. New York’s nose dive was the largest drop of any state for this performance category. See the 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

New York can do so much better on efficiency than it has over the past five years. As stated in the 2016 Synapse Energy Economics report Aiming Higher: Realizing the Full Potential of Cost-Effective Energy Efficiency in New York: The current level of savings “is far below what is possible from a technical and economic standpoint, and also relative to what nearby states are already achieving. Energy efficiency is New York’s most cost-effective resource, and yet the state is at risk of losing out on much of its potential.”

Setting a Strong Target
New York can return to the top 3! Policy influencers and thought leaders are coming together to bring a message to the governor that he should not ignore. In the past few weeks advocates and concerned citizens began ramping up. A Valentine’s Day letter signed by 49 groups requested the Governor to advance “a nation-leading energy efficiency plan that is as ambitious and equitable as possible.” Teach-ins, call-ins and more letters continue to add pressure leading up to Earth Day 2018.

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49 Groups' (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo

49 Groups’ (Energy Efficiency) Love Letter to Gov. Cuomo

Re-posted from the NRDC Expert Blog

By Sneha Ayyagari and Jackson Morris

This Valentine’s day, NRDC, along with 48 organizations, sent a letter to Governor Cuomo expressing support for energy efficiency and urging him to show his love for clean energy jobs and fighting climate change by adopting a nation-leading energy efficiency plan that is as ambitious and equitable as possible. In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo promised to release a “comprehensive and far reaching energy efficiency initiative by Earth Day, April 22,” including a new 2025 energy efficiency target. The letter signatories, which included environmental organizations, labor organizations, building industry companies and advocates, and environmental justice groups, expressed support for the Governor’s vision and urged him to follow through with aggressive actions to boost energy efficiency in the State.

The coalition  has come together to support this clean energy resource because of its many diverse benefits: lower utility bills, reduced carbon and other harmful pollution; new, local jobs for New Yorkers; and, a more reliable electric grid. Investment in efficiency is cost-effective and furthers the avoidance of expensive grid investments. It is a critical tool in the fight against climate change, improves air quality and public health, and can help address energy affordability. As explained in a previous blog, setting ambitious targets to increase energy efficiency is essential to goals such as reaching 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and closing the Indian Point nuclear plant without increasing carbon emissions.

New York’s utility regulator, the Department of Public Service (DPS), is working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to engage utilities, efficiency companies, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to implement the Governor’s plans to develop a comprehensive energy efficiency initiative. Leading up to Earth Day, DPS and NYSERDA have organized two roundtable discussions on February 23rd and March 5th to get input on a range of energy efficiency policies and programs. NRDC has advocated for a strong, comprehensive statewide energy efficiency program, and will be actively engaged in these discussions along with other signatories of the letter to make sure the governor’s initiative realizes the incredible potential New York has to become a leader on energy efficiency.

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New Year, New Energy

New Year, New Energy

By Jeff Jones

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State address featured his Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda, a plan that will keep New York moving forward as a national leader on energy and climate policy. Let’s welcome in the New Year by taking a moment to look broadly – both nationally and in New York - at where the electricity sector stands. 

First, the market: In large parts of the US, it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than new coal, and in some cases cheaper than natural gas. In a recent survey published in Utility Dive, Energy Innovation’s policy expert Sonia Aggarwal reached the conclusion that the industry’s competitive dynamic “completely flipped” in 2017.  Merchant coal plants in Texas and Massachusetts are retiring, unable to compete with natural gas and renewables, she reports, while utilities in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are planning early shutdowns of coal. And in spite of the federal government’s actions to shut down the Clean Power Plan, three-quarters of the states will meet their CPP targets.

Globally, the growth in renewables is adding unexpected amounts of clean power in a world with flat or even declining demand. This power has zero marginal cost and is driving down wholesale prices. Customers win, the environment wins, and investors in renewables win.

Second, the federal government: The Washington Post recently described the new Republican tax law as a “windfall for [the] oil and gas industry”. Fossil fuel interests will reap billions in tax savings, including for capital expenditures. The cut in the corporate tax rate may add 5 percent to the earnings of Exxon Mobil and 23 percent to oil refiners’ earnings. Opening portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration was another victory for big oil after a bitter 20-year fight, as would be reopening offshore waters to oil and gas exploration and development. Indeed, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently announced the federal government’s intention to open over 90 percent of the National Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration and leasing. By contrast, current policy puts 94 percent of OCS off limits. The Zinke program proposes the largest number of lease sales in U.S. history.

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How Clean Energy Standards Are Shaping Up in NY

How Clean Energy Standards Are Shaping Up in NY

At a recent gathering of the Public Utility Law section of the New York State Bar Association, ACE NY Executive Director Anne Reynolds spoke on the renewable energy panel, along with John Williams of NYSERDA and Gavin Donahue of the Independent Power Producers. Anne’s role to was to provide the renewable energy developers’ perspective on the Clean Energy Standard and how it is shaping up in New York.

As enthusiastic supporters of New York’s 50% Renewable Energy Standard, ACE NY highlights the jobs creation, the economic investment, and climate change benefits of new renewable energy development, and the great potential in NY for wind, solar, and offshore wind development. ACE NY members are optimistic about development opportunities in NYS and are following the State’s procurement processes with keen interest.  At the same time, Anne discussed the risky development process and the challenges to project development: a lengthy and uncertain Article 10 process; an equally lengthy and expensive interconnection process at the NYISO; and the need for local tax agreements and community support.


More broadly than individual projects, the potential need for new transmission investments to make achievement of 50% renewables more cost-effective could prove to be a challenge in New York as well. New York agencies, especially the Department of Public Service, need to set a priority of timely and efficient Article 10 and Article 7 processes in order to support the State’s ambitious renewable energy and climate goals. This may mean additional human resources at DPS as well as attention to ways to streamline the process. 

Watch Anne's presentation here:

Making the Case for Energy Efficiency

Making the Case for Energy Efficiency

It can be tough to get the ear of a policymaker. One of the best ways is by sharing stories of how their work can affect real people. Our “Faces of EE” initiative collects photos and testimonials of energy efficiency workers across the U.S. Faces of EE promotes the fact that “EE” means more than clean air and a stable grid; it means jobs and economic growth.


Showing policymakers real people’s stories helps ensure that these voices are heard. We also provide opportunities for EE professionals to meet with members of Congress to educate and advocate for smart energy policy.

In mid-2017, E4TheFuture launched Faces of EE to illuminate the broad reach and impact of this vital industry’s workforce. From insulation installers to HVAC experts, from program managers to technicians, we are revealing an industry with clout as well as heart. More than 300 energy efficiency professionals appeared in the first “flash” at a Nashville HPC conference. I am thrilled to say we will double that number before the new year. (Meet them on Twitter @FacesofEE.)

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