New York State on June 25, 2015 announced its 2015 Energy Plan (the Plan), which outlines policy recommendations and analyses of energy technologies, use and supply and demand intended to implement Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) plan. According to the State, the Plan’s initiatives will set New York on a path to achieve three main goals by 2030: (i) 40% reduction from 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions from the power, industrial, transportation and buildings sectors; (ii) 50% generation of electricity from renewable sources; and (iii) 23% reduction from 2012 levels of energy consumption by buildings.
The Plan will utilize three central tools of REV in order to achieve these goals: (i) regulatory reforms through the State’s Public Service Commission; (ii) use of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Clean Energy Fund; and (iii) investment by the New York Power Authority. Highlighted components include energy efficiency upgrades for the New York City subway system, integration of electric vehicles into the State vehicle fleet, new electricity transmission projects, development of community “microgrids” and net metering policies, financial incentives to stimulate development of renewable energy and State support of local Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation.
The Plan (and REV) currently only constitute a set of recommendations and targets, but Governor Cuomo and the various State agencies responsible for energy policy have all signaled their intent to put in place the laws, regulations and policies necessary to achieve these goals. Certain proposals, such as the introduction of distribution-level electricity dispatchers (entities tasked with organizing and distributing electricity resources generated at the end-use level such as rooftop solar and energy efficiency), have already been set in motion. While the specifics of reform are not yet set, the broad terms of the Plan and REV will play a role in the future of energy production and consumption in New York.