On August 1, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission approved the state’s plan to achieve fifty percent of its generation needs from renewables. In so doing, New York joins a handful of other states (including California Hawaii and Vermont) with ambitious clean energy goals at or above the fifty-percent mark.
Governor Cuomo’s so-called “50 by 30” plan requires aggressive phase-in of renewables, including wind and solar, beginning with a target of 26.31% in 2017. Among the controversial aspects of the plan is the recognition of nuclear energy’s role in the clean energy future: Angering some environmental groups, the plan calls for what will amount to billions of dollars in ratepayer subsidies for nuclear energy upgrades at existing facilities.
Other features of the state’s clean energy plan include development of a standard 100% NY certified clean energy product for consumers, expansions of energy efficiency programs, investments in batteries and other energy storage technologies, and promoting off-shore wind development.
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