Monday, March 17, 2008

New York Renewable Energy Task Force

In June 2007, Governor Spitzer appointed Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson to chair and convene the Renewable Energy Task Force. The Task Force was charged with identifying barriers to increased production of renewable energy, recommending policies and financial incentives to overcome those barriers, and identifying future market areas where additional research and development investment is necessary. Now that Paterson is the governor he will probably appoint the next lieutenant governor to head the task force.

Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson, Chairman of the State's Renewable Energy Task Force, announced 16 Task Force recommendations on Feb 25 as part of a roadmap to significantly increase renewable energy generation in New York. These first recommendations include:

More solar energy production funding the state's program to get 25 percent of New York's electricity from renewable energy by 2013 and

New business incentives targeted to attract renewable energy producers and expand the State's "green collar" workforce.

Significant recommendations of the Task Force's First Report include:

Developing eight times more solar photovoltaic energy generation in New York - over 100 megawatts by 2011.

Increasing the renewable energy supply in New York State to meet 25 percent of electricity demand by 2013 - and fully funding the Renewable Portfolio Standard to make it happen.

Developing new business incentives to attract renewable energy technology companies to New York in order to build industry clusters in solar, wind, biomass and other technical areas.

Changing the law to allow and encourage New York companies to produce their own renewable energy "on site" and deliver excess power back to the energy grid - known as "net metering."

Developing and supporting a "green collar" workforce of skilled labor to support renewable energy technology companies by coordinating training programs, expanding and enhancing those programs as necessary, and making training opportunities available to residents of disadvantaged communities, minority- and women-owned companies, and other small businesses.
The Task Force set forth key data throughout the Report demonstrating that investment in renewable energy creates jobs and increases tax revenues. Some examples include:
Up to 43,000 new jobs in New York could be created by the renewable energy production needed to meet the requirement that 25 percent of New York's electricity come from renewable sources. See page 26 of the Task Force Report.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency industries could create up to 40 million jobs and generate up to $4.5 trillion in revenue in the United States by 2030 - a four fold increase over current revenues. See page 25 of the Task Force Report.

$1 billion in economic benefits are expected to result over the next 20 years from the roughly $500 million that New York has so far committed in renewable energy funding through the Renewable Portfolio Standard - a 100 percent return on investment not counting economic spillover, multiplier
effects, and environmental quality-of-life gains from renewable energy production.

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