New York’s ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ (REV) moves a step closer with the release of an energy plan for the state setting out a roadmap towards achieving that vision.
The plan seeks to coordinate the state agencies and authorities towards the REV, which is currently under regulatory review by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC). [Engerati-Distributed Energy Resource Markets Coming To New York] The aim is a shift to a more market-driven clean energy future, with the 2030 goals of:
• 50% of generation from renewable energies
• 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels
• 23% decrease in energy consumption in buildings from 2012 levels.
New York state energy plan pillars
The three pillars of the plan are the PSC’s REV regulatory docket, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) newly announced Clean Energy Fund, and the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) investments in innovative solutions.
The REV regulatory proceeding, which was commenced in April 2014, is aimed to overhaul New York’s utility regulations to give customers greater value from and choice over their energy use, facilitate the rapid expansion and integration of distributed energy resources and transition clean energy to the core of investor-owned utilities’ business models.
NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund, including the NY Green Bank and NY-Sun solar initiative, complements the REV proceeding with support for energy efficiency, distributed energy and energy innovation through the provision of a proposed US$5 billion in new investment over 10 years starting in 2016. The intention is that the Fund will serve as the primary funding vehicle for NYSERDA’s ongoing and future initiatives and that its support will be complementary to the efforts of the utilities.
NYPA, under its new strategic vision, is working towards expanding customer energy solutions, modernizing its generation and transmission assets, and aligning its resources, including its workforce, to support the evolution of the industry. It will also inform the deployment of power supply and demand side programmes.
Energy initiatives in New York
The plan outlines more than 40 initiatives that will be delivered towards the REV in the areas of renewable energy, buildings and energy efficiency, clean energy financing, sustainable and resilient communities, energy infrastructure modernization, innovation and R&D and transportation.
These initiatives are expected to reduce approximately half of the emissions targeted for 2030, with the balance to come from the private sector through the innovation and investment jumpstarted through REV.
New York’s energy achievements
With the REV, New York is leading the energy transformation from a centralized to decentralized approach in the United States and globally.
Some facts and figures quoted from the plan indicate the evolution it has undergone:
• New York is the largest hydroelectric power producer east of the Rocky Mountains
• Low-cost power allocations have contributed to the creation or retention of more than 400,000 jobs, and have induced US$34 billion in private capital investment from 2010 through 2014
• On a per capita basis, New Yorkers consume nearly the least amount of energy in the country (second only to Rhode Island)
• State agencies have reduced energy consumption in public buildings by approximately 3% with investments in energy efficiency from 2011 through 2014, resulting in US$60-70 million in estimated avoided energy costs
• Past and ongoing energy efficiency and renewables programmes have led to a reduction of an estimated 7.7 million tons of CO2 per year – equivalent to taking 1.5 million cars off the road.