New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will soon mandate that 50 percent of the state’s power come from green energy by 2030.
Cuomo has pushed for more green energy use in New York but has yet to codify his goals into law. Cuomo is now calling for strict emission limits and a mandate that utilities use green energy sources like wind and solar, reports The New York Times.
Green energy currently accounts for 25 percent of New York’s electricity, though hydro power remains the main source, providing 20 percent of renewable power. Wind and solar power together only generate about 4 percent of New York’s electricity, reports Syracuse.com
New York’s policy shift in the direction of green energy likely means higher overall energy costs, but environmentalists are applauding the move despite the potential electricity price increases.
“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expanding renewable energy and transforming the energy landscape in New York reflects his longstanding leadership in the effort to solve the global climate crisis,” former Vice President Al Gore said in a statement.
Cuomo will direct the state’s Public Service Commission to write green energy rules, and the government will give incentives for nuclear power to be used as a “bridge” fuel until the state develops its own green energy industry. Cuomo hopes relying on nuclear power will help the state reach his goal of a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
The state’s nuclear power industry has been suffering in recent years, and without more assistance from the local government, it will continue to decline. Entergy, which controls several plants in the state said that Cuomo’s plan will probably not be enough to save their struggling operations. Entergy announced earlier this month that it would have to close its FitzPatrick plant, which Cuomo’s administration is trying to avoid.
“We will evaluate this program once we see its details so we can weigh its risks and potential benefits,” Tammy Holden, an Entergy spokesperson told Syracuse.com. “While a step in the right direction from an energy policy perspective, it is unclear whether this program would address the significant financial challenges facing the FitzPatrick plant.”
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