Governor Cuomo broadcasts plans for a carbon-free New York by 2040

As part of his legislative priorities for 2019, Governor Cuomo announced that New York will switch to carbon-free electricity by 2040. This will exceed the deadline for carbon-free power in California by five years.

According to the Alliance for Clean Energy in New York, Cuomo even referred to the plan as the Green New Deal, a progressive climate change initiative in Congress led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In response to this announcement, Sean Garren, Senior Director for Northeastern Vote Solar made the following statement:

“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to converting New York to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 will lead the Empire State and nation into a future of healthy communities, a safe climate and a strong clean energy economy. The governor’s leadership is vital as President Trump does his best to keep our country off climate change and undermine the hundreds of thousands of jobs in our booming clean energy economy.

“This new commitment is powerful and we need a good short term plan to achieve it. We must make immediate progress to help families struggling to pay their bills, communities desperate for clean air and water, and an economy that today needs new jobs and investment. Powering one million New York homes with solar energy would deliver just that – and instantly accelerate the growth of local clean energy, good jobs, and savings on high utility bills for New York families, businesses, and communities. It would also ensure that the clean energy economy we are building is fairer by providing concrete and direct benefits to 100,000 low-income homes that are powered by solar energy.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership on clean energy and a clean climate, and urge him to combine this pioneering commitment with a short-term goal of solar energy for 1 million households, including 100,000 low-income households, by 2023. This will be a critical step in setting New York on the path to 100% carbon-free energy by 2040. “

The following is a statement from Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s Vice President for State Affairs:

“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to converting New York to 100% carbon-free electricity is historic and will cement New York’s place among America’s leading clean energy companies. This plan can bring massive economic and environmental benefits to communities across the state, and create many new, well-paid jobs and cleaner air.

“We look forward to working with the Cuomo administration to develop the short term plan to achieve this long term goal. Specific examples include doubling solar power and committing to receive 6 gigawatts of solar power by 2023, setting strict guidelines for the ongoing Value of Distributed Energy Resources case, and bringing more solar power to New York on a large scale. “

The announcement follows Governor Cuomo’s increase in New York City’s energy storage target last week to 3 GW by 2030, another policy that will be critical to achieving 100% clean electricity.

The move would make New York the fourth state after California, Hawaii, and New Jersey with a goal of 100% clean electricity or clean energy. Today New York has 9,012 solar jobs and 1,570 MW of installed solar systems, the tenth largest among the states.

Updated with the statement from SEIA on December 18th

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