A plan to increase New York State’s renewable resources, clean energy standards, and power usage is being fine-tuned and discussed among state lawmakers. Named after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s infamous New Deal for New York from back in the 1930s, New York’s ‘Green New Deal’ is going to help the state reach 100% renewable and clean energy by 2040. Governor for New York State and proponent for solar energy, Andrew Cuomo, has recently come out with details on the Green New Deal. 

The Initial Solar Energy Deal Announcement 

Back in December of 2018, Governor Cuomo spoke at Hunter College to reveal his Justice Agenda for 2019. During his speech, he covered a variety of topics but also focused on solar and clean energy integration in the state. Cuomo’s ambitious plan embraces solar energy with the ultimate goal revolving around helping to save the planet. He is well aware that in order to protect our Earth for future generations, we must act now. Solar and renewable energy is the obvious way to go. By following the trend of rapid solar energy integration seen by states like California and Hawaii, Governor Cuomo hopes this new plan will secure New York’s longevity for generations to come. 

Governor Cuomo’s solar energy plan is more ambitious than any other state has proposed thus far. Hawaii, for example, plans to move along a similar timeline but is shooting for 100% renewable and solar energy resources by 2045, and not 2040 as Cuomo is proposing. Back in December during his initial announcement, however, there were few details provided about how exactly this goal of 100% carbon-neutral goal will be achieved. Now, just a month later, Cuomo discussed in his 2019 State of the State presentation how these goals involving solar energy integration will eventually make the state 100% carbon-neutral. 

Elevating New York’s Clean and Solar Energy 

During his recent State of the State presentation, Governor Cuomo addressed the specifics of how he plans to revolutionize New York State’s solar energy and renewable resource usage. Offshore wind solar energy will quadruple New York’s offshore renewable energy generation according to his plan, with megawatt production set to double nearly every year from 2030 until 2035. Distributed solar deployment and land-based solar energy resources are also projected to double. Additionally, the state will aim to rise from 50 to 70% solar and renewable electricity by 3030 and the full 100% by 2040. Clean solar energy storage will also be heavily focused on, with nearly 3,000 megawatts of solar energy storage being useable by 2030.  

The solar energy plan goals proposed in the Green New Deal reflect similar plans that have been implemented in states such as Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, and Connecticut. Such states are also striving for 100% clean solar utility and renewable energy, or as close to it is possible. Governor Cuomo, in addition to keeping up with other states that have solidified their own solar energy plans, has a broader vision for how the Green New Deal will ultimately benefit the state. He is hopeful that new job openings, apprenticeship programs, and other economic benefits will increase resident participation and involvement. Cuomo specifically mentioned in his Justice Agenda that he would like to create an apprenticeship program that will generate 2,000 additional positions, after having received $3 million just last year in 2018 to get the program started. 

Vote Solar and the SEIA Backing Up New York 

The notable solar energy advocacy group, Vote Solar, agreed to support Cuomo’s initiative and overall goals for New York, stating last December that they will build up to one million homes in the state that are fueled by solar power. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) will also be working with New York State to help them reach their long-term goals. According to SEIA Vice President of State Affairs, Sean Gallagher, he says the SEIA looks forward to working with Cuomo and his administration to help achieve the desired results. 

Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Justice Agenda presentation briefing is available for public view here. 

Resources: 

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2018/12/17/new-york-governor-cuomo-calls-for-100-carbon-neutral-electricity-by-2040-via-green-new-deal/ 

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/01/16/green-new-deal-in-empire-state-doubles-distributed-solar-power/ 

https://votesolar.org/files/7415/4758/4798/SoS_Briefing_Book_2019.pdf 

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