A Leading State Plans for Progress
[On April 19-20, 2017, the New York Geothermal Energy Organization held a conference in Albany, the state’s capital. It was titled “Helping New York Meet Its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Goals.” This state has built momentum that few others can claim.]
Final attendance figures have not been published, but the previous NY-GEO conference drew registrants from 111 communities, 25 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, and five countries. New York is on the move when it comes to sustainability.
New York’s Policy-
This is a state that banned fracking two years ago and has passed a number of “green-wise” laws, including an ambitious Clean Energy Standard regulatory mechanism that demands renewable energy credits be earned by electric utilities. The state’s goal is for 50% renewable electricity by 2030. New York’s load serving entities (LSEs) are charged with blending ever-more renewable electricity into the grid by solar PV and wind (both on land and offshore). Dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is the objective.
Currently, the news is filled with worry about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, aligning the U.S. with Syria and Nicaragua—while walking away from 190 other nations who support Paris. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo is Co-Chair of the new U.S. Climate Alliance, which unifies a number of cities, states, and Canadian provinces in continued support for the Paris Accord as if Donald Trump’s choice wasn’t made. California is part of this alliance, and its Governor Jerry Brown traveled to China to forge additional commitments between California, China, and other nations.
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has offered to personally pay $15 million to support the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, the arm of the UN that coordinates the Paris pact, according to CNN Money.
New York City’s current Mayor Bill DeBlasio has presided over an increase in geothermal installations, and city policy now specifies that all new or retrofit HVAC work on public buildings inside city jurisdiction must consider geo heat pump technology among available choices. The mayor’s action is part pragmatism, since all New Yorkers will remember the heavy damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy. Geo systems are by their nature less exposed to the elements and often eliminate the need for cooling towers, which are more susceptible to damage than deeply buried underground heat exchangers.
Picking Winners & Losers-
Western New York Congressman Tom Reed has 64 co-sponsors for his HR 1090, which would restore geothermal tax credits that lapsed at the end of 2016 while that treatment for solar and wind renewables were renewed for another five years.
The state of New York is on a roll, green-wise, and NY-GEO has been a guiding advocate for this wise policy course.