As New York commemorates Climate Week, there are several steps to be taken to improve our clean energy portfolio.
In a recent op-ed, State Senator Kevin Parker warned New Yorkers that the state has a long way to go to achieve its climate goals, including a past goal for 2015:
The truth is, New York is not on track to meet the aggressive renewable energy goals set in the climate bill, which includes producing 70 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040. We haven’t even hit our 2015 target of 30 percent renewable energy generation (instead, we’re stuck at about 26). And alienating existing renewable energy producers and losing our established resources will only backslide New York’s progress to attaining these renewable energy goals.
Additionally, NYSERDA released its 2019 Clean Energy Industry Report which reported a slow growth in clean energy production, yet a decline in clean energy jobs:
Renewable electric power generation was the only technology that saw a slight loss in jobs between 2017 and 2018, and a net loss since 2016. The report described the sector as “steady” since it only experienced a .2% decline in the past year, which it said is lower than the 1.9% decline experienced at a national level. So despite it being the only area of negative growth in the report, New York is still on slightly better footing compared to the country as a whole. Employers also remained optimistic, predicting a 9% job increase between 2018 and 2019.
While New York has successfully led on climate-conscious policy, we must do more to reach these ambitious goals.