Wind turbines, West Virginia. Wind turbines are a growing source of electric power in the United States.
Wind turbines, West Virginia Wind turbines, West Virginia. Wind turbines are a growing source of electric power in the United States. © Kent Mason

Stories in New York

Advancing a Clean Energy Future

Creating a brighter future for New Yorkers

On August 1, 2016, the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) adopted a Renewable Energy Standard that requires 50 percent of New York State electricity to be generated by renewable sources by 2030. Conservancy energy and policy staff have been working closely with the NYSPSC, providing support and advocating for this outcome, as it is a critical step in mitigating climate change.

The new standard will create a cleaner energy future, and sets an example for the rest of the nation. It is a major victory for the environment and a huge step forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the top driver of climate change.

The Renewable Energy Standard will enable New York State to enact its ambitious plan to reinvent our electricity system. New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative is the State’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for every New Yorker. REV aims to reduce costs, increase reliability, and most importantly, reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. To better understand the public’s views on clean energy and New York’s REV program, we commissioned public opinion research. The results were inspiring.

New York voters expressed nearly unanimous support for REV with 89 percent favoring more wind power, 94 percent endorsing more solar power, and 95 percent hoping for a modern grid system. A majority of New Yorkers deem global warming to be a serious problem, and voters are ready to change their behavior to help meet the goals of REV. Simple steps to help meet these goals range from curbing electricity use during periods of high demand to replacing appliances with energy-efficient models. Voters are even willing to pay more for clean energy, especially if it means that future generations will live in a state less dependent on fossil fuels. 

Conservancy policy staff are sharing these powerful findings with decision-makers and using the data to demonstrate that New Yorkers want renewable energy and are willing partners in the clean energy economy. The Conservancy will continue to call for ambitious renewable energy goals and programs that will accelerate New York’s progress towards a clean energy future.

Climate change is already affecting our lives and the places we live, and the Conservancy is thinking strategically about how to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in the necessary science and tools to adapt to a changing climate.