Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Renewable energy

Renewable energy

  • Slate of Insurgent Candidates Focused on Climate Seizes on Failure of State Bill

    Climate march (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Democrat-led state Legislature ended its session over the weekend without passing any additional major pieces of climate-related legislation that some legislators and activists had been pushing for months. The failure to act has provided renewed vigor to several candidates running in the primaries this year who had already been centering climate action in their campaigns, many of them challenging incumbent Democrats.

    They say that the state must take immediate and extraordinary action as the adverse effects of climate change continue

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  • Bitcoin Mining is Gobbling Up New York's Precious Renewable Energy

     

    Bitcoin is a popular cryptocurrency (photo: Kanchanara)


    Like time inSteve Miller’s classic-rock song, New York’s decarbonization targets keep slipping into the future.

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  • New York City Electeds, Advocates Outline Priorities for State Climate Action Council

    Mayor Adams and others discuss wind energy plans (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York’s sweeping Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 set the state on a path to reaching net-zero emissions over the next three decades. The law established a Climate Action Council that drafted a framework for achieving that goal, and is now more than halfway through the process of seeking public input on its proposed plan. 

    The Council held its seventh public hearing on Tuesday in Brooklyn, out of

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  • Zoning for Solar – Policy Barriers to Achieving Green Goals That Can Be Fixed

    Rooftop solar (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In 1883, Charles Fritts coated selenium with a thin layer of gold on a New York City rooftop to create a current activated by exposure to light, and thus thefirst solar panel was born. Though it achieved an energy conversion rate of just 1 to 2%, his work spurred the beginning of

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  • ‘Public Solar NYC’ Rooftop Renewable Energy Plan in Development

    Rooftop solar (photo: Ethan Geringer-Sameth)


    It was a small world on the roof of a five-storey co-op in West Harlem where Michael Anglin, the building’s treasurer, was showing off its solar panels.

    New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and a team from his office were touring the configuration to understand what went into installing it in the heavily-regulated city, considered by industry insiders to be one of the hardest markets in the world to erect solar panels. Also there was Rit Aggarwala, Lander's long-time associate

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  • During Earth Week, Advocates Press New York State and City Leaders to Go Bolder on Climate Policy

    Climate action (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    With the global climate crisis heading to the point of no return, dozens of climate activist groups are rallying ahead of Earth Day, April 22, calling on Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature to pass a a raft of bills they say are crucial to the local and global effort to fight climate change, global warming, and their ill effects.

    The bills include efforts to cut carbon emissions, build green infrastructure, reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, prevent harmful cryptocurrency mining, and create tens of thousands of

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Earth Week 2022, with Julie Tighe & Daniel Zarrilli on New York Climate Policy

    Earth Week 2022 in New York (photo: Office of Governor Hochul)


    April 19, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Earth Week 2022 in New York, with Julie Tighe & Daniel Zarrilli

    Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Daniel Zarrilli is the Special Advisor on Climate & Sustainability at Columbia University and former New York City Chief Climate Policy Advisor, joined the show during Earth Week 2022 to discuss New York climate and environmental policy. 

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • NYS Public Service Commission: Do the Right Thing for Frontline Communities

    New York City from above (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It doesn't often happen that New York State has an opportunity to take decisive and meaningful action to address deep-rooted issues that have plagued the Bronx, New York City, and our state for way too long — environmental injustice and climate change.

    This month, the seven members of the New York State Public Service Commission hold our fate in their hands as they vote on the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), a permitted and shovel-ready

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  • ‘A Fundamental Shift’: New York’s Clean Energy Plans Move Ahead

    NYSERDA's Doreen Harris with Gov. Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    New York is well on its way to meeting its ambitious clean energy goals, according to one of the top state officials charged with implementation, and there are several major projects in the offing essential to moving from fossil fuels to a combination of wind, water, and solar power.

    Doreen Harris, the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA),

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  • The Climate Crisis Requires Bold Action: $15 Billion and Build Public Renewables Now

    (photo: Philip Kamrass/ New York Power Authority)

    Gov. Hochul at a solar farm event (photo: Philip Kamrass/New York Power Authority)


    In 2019, I took a vote in Albany that I remain proud of to this day: after supporting the bill for many years, I voted to finally pass the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). I thought we were on track. The CLCPA made New York a true leader on climate, committing our state to a rapid decarbonization of our economy and ensuring that we invest in frontline communities most impacted by pollution and climate

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  • To Keep the Lights on in New York City, Look to Renewable Energy

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    Renewable energy for New York City (photo: Governor's Office)


    Climate extremes in New York are on the rise, from flooding to excessive heat. The city is experiencing frequent heat waves, including three last year, when temperatures soared to 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for three consecutive days. Five of the hottest Julys on record occurred between 2010 and 2020.

    Part of how we tackle climate change is by implementing and supporting wise energy policy that brings on more non-carbon-emitting energy. We need to prioritize how

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  • Max Politics Podcast: New York's Clean Energy Vision

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    NYSERDA CEO Doreen Harris, left, with DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos (photo: @Doreen_M_Harris)


    January 28, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: New York's Clean Energy Vision

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    photo: Rex Linga

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  • To Build Back Better, New York Should Build Public Renewables

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    (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    A state with the nation’s most ambitious climate justice goals and a White House and Congress promising historic investment in green infrastructure should be a match made in heaven. If we act quickly and pass the New York Build Public Renewables Act, we can make the most of this historic opportunity to rebuild our energy system and economy, and ensure the historic targets we set in 2019 on eradicating carbon emissions and environmental racism become reality.

    The New York Build Public

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  • We Need Joe Biden to Become the Climate President, and for Chuck Schumer to Help Get Him There

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    Joe Biden with solar panels (photo: Christopher Dilts/Biden for President)


    Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. Global warming and extreme weather are accelerating.

    We need Joe Biden to be the Climate President, especially after the four lost years under  climate-denier Donald Trump. This begins with Biden taking comprehensive executive action on climate change on day one.

    A number of large coalitions (e.g., ClimatePresident.org) have outlined a comprehensive list of executive actions

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  • A Peak Opportunity to Turn the Corner and Invest in Our Green New York Future

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    Pushing for a climate plan (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    From Superstorm Sandy to Tropical Storm Isaías, climate change threatens all New Yorkers. That policymakers have largely not acted on this threat in a meaningful way is a profound failure. Now is the time to rectify that lack of action.

    In New York at least, our new Democratic State Senate majority took power in 2019 and answered the call. Our Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) is a nation-leading effort to fight back, putting our state on track for net zero

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  • New York Must Better Plan Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants; A Bill Awaiting Passage in Albany Does Just That

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    Indian Point nuclear power plant (photo: governor's office)


    The 2020 session of the New York State Legislature has been another one for the record books, passing landmark legislation to address climate change, pandemic relief, and police reform. It’s a remarkable set of achievements, but the work of this legislative session isn’t complete yet, because there’s another pressing, high-stakes measure that can’t wait until next year: a pending bill to create a state oversight board on nuclear power plant decommissioning. 

    The decommissioning

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  • With Green Participatory Budgeting, Racial Justice and Climate Justice Go Hand in Hand

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    Solar panels in Queens (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The Black Lives Matter movement that has swept the country shows that New Yorkers demand not only equal treatment by law enforcement and an end to police brutality, but also greater government accountability and responsiveness to the needs of Black residents and other New Yorkers of color. Even before the protests began last month, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on

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  • Peaker Plants Harm Communities of Color; It’s Time for New York City to Replace Them

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    A peaker plant


    As the weather warms and we head into the summer, we again expect record-breaking temperatures. Thousands of New Yorkers worry about accessing air conditioning units and surviving a hot summer in cramped apartments, and many will struggle to balance higher electricity bills from air conditioning against costs of health care, food, and rent. But most people don’t worry about the increased electricity demand from widespread air conditioning use during hot days and heat waves.

    Most New Yorkers are unlikely to know about the polluting power plants

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  • Drones with Hacksaws: Climate Consequences of Shutting Indian Point Can't Be Brushed Aside

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    A New. York wind farm (photo: @nyserda)


    Prologue
    At the stroke of midnight, as April gave way to May, one hundred drones with diamond-brazed hacksaws descended on a remote section of the New York-New Jersey Bight. Methodically, diabolically, they set to their task: lopping off a thousand or more turbine blades whose spinning motion enabled the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. When the sun rose on May 1 it revealed a stark sight: 400 supertall towers stripped bare. Twelve hundred blades, three per tower, that for decades had

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  • Carbon Free Is How We Build Back From COVID-19

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    Is the post-coronavirus future renewable? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    There have been many hard-learned lessons from COVID-19, but by far the most tragic – paid for with the lives of tens of thousands of people – is that when it comes to dealing with a public health crisis, preparation and proactive planning is the only approach that can keep our worst nightmares from becoming a reality. While New York is still far from reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, many inside and outside of government have rightly begun to envision what a restart to our economy

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  • Coronavirus Crash Prompts Renewed Calls for New York Divestment from Fossil Fuels, But Comptroller Stands Pat

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    A protest to push for New York pension system divestment from fossil fuel stocks (photo: @350)


    The oil and gas industries are experiencing significant upheaval as the coronavirus pandemic decimates economies across the globe. The price of crude oil in the United States temporarily fell below $0 per barrel for the first time ever last month, prompting renewed energy among activists and elected officials in New York who want to rid the state pension fund of all investments in the fossil fuel industry.

    But the one person they must convince, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli,

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  • On #EarthDay50, The Answer to Two Existential Crises is Staring Us in the Face

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    The future is renewable, the author writes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day—Wednesday, April 22, 2020—, the world is in crisis. An unbearable number of lives lost each day. Livelihoods disappearing or threatened. And the uncertainty of what might come next is disrupting communities. Our infrastructure is strained to the brink and our most marginalized communities are bearing a disproportionate brunt of the pain. I’m of course talking about the ongoing devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The tragedy is that these

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  • Letter to the Editor: Coronavirus Not Relevant to Needed Closure of Indian Point

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    Indian Point nuclear power plant (photo: governor's office)


    In an opinion piece published April 7, several pro-nuclear energy advocates opportunistically attempt to link the imminent closure of Indian Point 2 with the region’s response to COVID-19, warning of potential blackouts if it closes. This cynical fear-mongering is wholly devoid of any factual support, impractical, runs contrary to law, and is the opposite of what we need right now, which is

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  • Governor Cuomo: Act Now to Protect New York City Electric Grid Amid Coronavirus Threat

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    Governor Cuomo at Indian Point (photo: governor's office)


    Dear Governor Cuomo,

    This letter is to alert your Administration and the City of New York that an unforeseen consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is its likely impact on the reliability of the electric grid serving the New York City metropolitan area, and actions needed to be taken now to reduce these risks.

    Blackouts anywhere/anytime are at best an inconvenience, but today they dramatically worsen the angst and economic pressure already being felt across the nation. In

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  • Environmental Justice, Clean Energy, and the Truth about Indian Point

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    renewable energy and the future of New York power (photo: Mayor's Office)


    In a recent Gotham Gazette column, Richard Webster, legal director for Riverkeeper, writes that “New York Has Already Moved Beyond Indian Point Nuclear Power; Here’s Where We’re Headed.” While Riverkeeper, the Westchester-based environmental group that has spearheaded the decades-long push to close Indian Point, may have moved on, the rest of us will be dealing with

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