Message to NY Legislators: “Shift to Renewable Energy is Possible”

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ALBANY, N. Y. – New York can meet its renewable-energy goals. That’s the message clean-energy advocates are delivering to state lawmakers today.

The state’s clean-energy standard calls for 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to raise that to 70 percent.

At a policy briefing and breakfast for legislators in Albany this morning, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York presented a short program that lays out some of the steps necessary to get there.

Zack Dufresne, director of communications and membership services for the alliance, the drive to a clean-energy future already is in motion.

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“One of the vessels that will get us there is offshore wind,” Dufresne said. “It’s going to provide a lot of load right near the zone where it’s needed, and we think it’s a crucial piece of getting us to 50 percent or 70 percent by 2030.”

The governor also has called for more than doubling the goals for large-scale, land-based wind and solar resources.

New York is the only state in the country that does not have a legislatively mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard. Dufresne said this is one of the steps state lawmakers can take to ensure that energy goals are met.

“It’s really important that we get these goals codified and put into law in New York state,” he stressed. “That’s really something we hope can happen now with the change in dynamic at the New York state Senate, and that we can get this pushed through.”

He added that passing the Climate and Community Protection Act to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change would be another important step the Legislature could take.

Gov. Cuomo has proposed competing legislation in his budget bill, which he calls the Climate Leadership Act. Dufresne’s group thinks now is the time to reconcile the two bills and move forward.

“We really just want to see the state come together, both legislators and executive, and make this a reality,” he said.

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