Renewable Energy in New York [2023 Guide]
Oct 1, 2023
The state of New York has emerged as a national leader in harnessing the potential of renewable energy. A commitment to sustainability is driving policy, with recent legislation marking a significant step toward publicly owned utilities and ramping up renewable energy production. This ambitious trajectory, underpinned by an array of incentives, is set to transform the state's energy landscape. The shift towards renewables is expected to yield environmental, economic, and public health benefits, while offering a practical model of public power for the rest of the country.
Benefits of Renewable Energy in New York
New York's significant commitment to renewable energy presents an array of benefits, both environmental and economic. By substituting fossil fuels with cleaner energy sources, the state is taking definitive action to reduce its carbon footprint. This, in turn, contributes significantly to the global efforts to mitigate climate change.
Moreover, the transition to renewable energy is expected to have tangible impacts on public health. The closure of natural gas-fired plants, often located in densely populated areas like Queens, Bronx, and the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, will lead to a considerable decrease in air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.
The economic benefits of New York's renewable energy initiatives cannot be overstated. The Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) includes the creation of union jobs for renewable projects, offering retraining, and ensuring new positions are filled by workers transitioning from the non-renewable energy sector. The legislation guarantees pay rate protection, ensuring that the renewable energy sector not only generates clean power but also contributes to a robust, equitable economy.
New York Energy Mix: How Much Is Renewable?
New York's energy mix is increasingly favoring renewable sources, a trend set to accelerate in the coming decade. Currently, the largest contributor to renewable energy in the state is hydropower, accounting for over 80% of the electricity generated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the largest state public utility in the country. By 2040, all the electricity produced in New York will need to come from clean energy sources.
The transition away from fossil fuels is also evident in the state's handling of natural gas-fired plants. The new BPRA mandates the phasing out of six such plants operated by NYPA across New York City by 2030, thereby making a clear commitment to renewable energy sources.
Solar Energy in New York
Despite receiving less sunlight than many parts of the country, New York State stands as a leading champion of residential solar and community solar adoption. This success can be attributed to a combination of high electricity prices and an impressive array of solar incentives.
Wind Energy and Other Renewable Energy Sources in New York
In addition to solar, New York is embracing a diverse range of renewable energy sources. Wind energy is a particularly promising avenue. Offshore wind farms are being explored as a viable and scalable solution to meeting the state's energy demands while minimizing environmental impact.
New York Renewable Energy Goals
New York's renewable energy ambitions are encapsulated in the newly passed Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA). The BPRA also extends its directives to state-owned and municipally owned properties. All such facilities that ordinarily receive power from NYPA must transition to renewable energy by 2030. Further, municipally owned entities, including hospitals, schools, public housing, and public transit, are required to make the switch by 2035.
The Act signals a paradigm shift in how the state approaches energy production and distribution. It encapsulates a broader vision for clean energy, public health, and equitable economic growth. Moreover, it sets an ambitious yet achievable timeline, marking New York as a frontrunner in the nationwide shift toward renewable energy.
Average Electric Bill in New York
The transition to renewable energy also carries a potential financial advantage for New York residents. As of October 2023, the average electricity bill in the state is higher than the national average, at $241 per month or 22 cents/kWh. As more renewable energy sources are integrated into the state's energy grid, residents could see a reduction in their monthly utility bills. This transition, while also making the state's power infrastructure more resilient, offers a welcome relief for customers who have long grappled with the increasing cost of electricity.
New York Renewable Energy Incentives
Accelerating the shift to renewables is a suite of incentives making solar energy more affordable for New Yorkers. The NY-Sun Megawatt (MW) Block incentive, for example, provides a tiered, declining incentive structure for solar projects, effectively reducing the cost of solar energy system installations.
Adding to this, the NY State Solar Energy System Equipment Tax Credit offers a substantial credit against the state income tax for residents who purchase and install solar energy systems. The Solar Electric Generating System Tax Abatement provides property tax abatement for owners of buildings that install solar electric generating systems. Lastly, net metering allows solar energy system owners to feed excess electricity back into the grid, thereby offsetting the costs of any grid electricity they consume.
How You Can Choose Renewable Energy in New York
CleanChoice Energy is a renewable energy supplier offering services to customers in New York. By choosing CleanChoice Energy as their electricity supplier, customers in Central Hudson, Con Ed, National Grid, NYSEG, Orange & Rockland, and RGE territories in New York can play a role in reducing the state's dependence on traditional, non-renewable energy sources. CleanChoice Energy is dedicated to making the switch to clean, pollution-free energy easy and accessible for customers in New York. Learn more about how easy it is to choose cleaner energy today and be a part of New York's green revolution.
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