April 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pace Energy and Climate Center Applauds Issuance of Clean Energy Standard
Cost Study, Demonstration of Net Program Benefits
It is no secret that the future of our energy markets revolves around renewables. The old system of large centralized fossil fuel power plants is not conducive to the environment or the future of our economic growth. Increasingly, energy consumers are taking matters into their own hands and installing rooftop solar and other distributed generation at their homes and businesses—simultaneously reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and lowering their energy costs.
The Northeast has long been a leader in clean energy and climate action. The New York State Energy Plan establishes an aggressive goal to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030, and other states in the region have committed to similarly strong GHG emission reductions.
Governor Andrew Cuomo released his policy priorities and Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget proposal yesterday in Albany. I was struck by the number of times the Governor mentioned the importance of tackling climate change. And he stressed the importance of New York State’s continued leadership on this critical issue. This is great news and bodes well for the future.
I was also struck by the number of energy and climate proposals the Governor mentioned that staff at the Pace Energy and Climate Center (Pace) are working on in some way.
New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision Proceeding Continues to Make Strides Toward the Utility of the Future
As the end of the year approaches, New York's energy revolution continues to gain momentum. Pace recently filed comments on two matters critical to the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding: Track Two, which will determine the form of utility ratemaking and business models under REV, and the Department of Public Service’s guidance paper on utility Distributed System Implementation Plans (DSIPs), which will define the utilities’ new roles and responsibilities in REV. In addition, Pace intervened in Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.'s most recent rate case and commends the New York Public Service Commission for including two important REV-related initiatives in its 2015 O&R rate order.
When solar PV panels generate electricity, what are the actual environmental benefits produced? A key component to answering this question is understanding the impact the solar panel has on the rest of the electric system. Since the panels are supplying electricity, a power plant somewhere else no longer needs to generate as much electricity to fulfill demand. If this power plant uses coal—which generally has a higher carbon content than other fuels—to generate electricity, then the solar panels are reducing relatively dirty electric generation.
New York State’s energy world is responding to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal in the New York Times today. The Governor has proposed to obtain 50% of the state’s electricity by 2030 from renewable resources such as wind and solar power. What's new today is that the Governor wants the New York State Public Service Commission to issue an order locking down this committment for the future.
With leaders from the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States gathering on Tuesday, November 17th in New York City to discuss the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), my colleagues and I at the Pace Energy and Climate Center (Pace) published the following paper entitled, "The Clean Power Plan Puzzle: The Future of Efforts to Control Climate Pollution in the Northeast".
As has been reported by Bloomberg BNA and other outlets, Pace’s analysis also shows that the base RGGI cap in 2020, is slightly lower than the collective 2030 mass-based targets established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
But features of the RGGI program design need revisions to ensure compliance with the CPP.
New York Announces NY Prize Stage 1 Awardees, Pace Energy and Climate Center to Assist Nine Communities in Evaluating Microgrid Feasibility
On July 8, 2015 New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition Stage 1 winners. NY Prize is a $40 million competition to help communities create microgrids - standalone energy systems that can operate independently in the event of a power outage. In Stage 1 of the competition 83 communities across New York State have received awards of approximately $100,000 to study the feasibility of developing a community microgrid.