In August 2016, the New York Public Service Commission established the country’s most ambitious clean energy goal when it approved Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard (CES), mandating that 50 percent of New York State’s electricity generation come from renewable sources by 2030.
While the plan is “doable,” according to Pace Energy and Climate Change Center, it will be a formidable challenge to siphon New York from natural gas and other fossil fuels – which make up over 40 percent of the state’s energy grid on an average summer day.
Indian Point’s imminent closure in 2021 also poses additional challenges to the CES. Indian Point currently supplies 10 percent of the state’s power, which will be lost when the plant shuts down in 2021. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) says that Indian Point can be replaced by three natural gas plants. This will increase carbon emissions in place of Indian Point’s clean power.
To maintain these goals, New York needs to take ambitious steps towards siting renewable energy sources, while continuing to maintain the baseload power our state relies on for electricity.
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