Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Renewable energy

Renewable energy

  • climate activists

    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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  • better dec must

    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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  • cm costa tobe

    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 comm

    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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  • american wind

    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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  • plans signi expand

    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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  • divest ny fos

    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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  • joint ind board

    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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  • gov cuomo brief

    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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  • cuomo indian point

    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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  • built fresh park

    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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  • cuomo indian point

    Gov. Cuomo outside Indian Point power plant (photo: Governor's Office)


    Richard Webster, attorney for Riverkeeper, a principal advocate for closure of Indian Point power plant, has written a deeply misleading response to an opinion piece in which Herschel Specter and I urged that

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  • cuomo tours mariobridge

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Despite the last-minute denials in an op-ed column recently published in these pages, there’s actually good news regarding replacement energy for Indian Point’s 2,060 megawatts once it goes offline in April. The New York Independent System Operator — which coordinates the distribution of our electricity supply — ...

  • cuomo recieves briefing

    Indian Point power plant (photo: Governor's Office)


    In an opinion piece by Leonard Rodberg and Herschel Specter, “Is Governor Cuomo Serious About Climate Change? Indian Point Decision Says No,” published March 2, the authors argue that the climate plan for New York is not serious because it cannot accomplish the desired reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, they claim, it is easy to make the plan serious by cancelling the

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  • Gotham Gazette:

    Indian Point (photo: the governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo claims that New York is a leader in addressing the dangers of climate change. So far, the facts fail to support this.

    Since 2010, New York’s gas-fired and dual-use (gas & oil) electric capacity has increased over four times as fast as wind plus other sources of renewable power. Fossil fuels today produce eight times as much electricity as all our renewables, exclusive of hydropower. This movement towards greater fossil fuel use is about to get far worse if the carbon-free Indian Point nuclear plant is shut

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  • crowds gather witness

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York’s Public Service Commission recently approved another rate hike for Con Edison, as it does every three years. This hike will increase electric rates by 13% and gas rates by 22% over the next three years.

    Con Edison won. Like always, it requested and was granted its rate hike. It doesn't matter that New Yorkers already pay the second highest municipal rates in the country. Nor the $200 million for new fossil-fuel infrastructure baked into Con Ed's request. Despite this, state regulators are once

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  • cuomo gov e14

    (photo: governor's office)


    This spring, thanks to the tireless work of grassroots organizers, New York State took the first step towards tackling the climate crisis. The Legislature passed, and the governor signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which sets binding mandates to get New York off of fossil fuels and directs much-needed support to communities hit first and worst by the climate crisis. 

    The CLCPA is a landmark piece of legislation. It’s been called “...

  • rikers island jails via lippman report25

    Rikers Island (photo via Lippman Commission report)


    After five years of struggle, the New York City Council voted last month to finally shutter the house of horrors that is Rikers Island. Closing this facility, however, is only the first step toward true restorative justice. New York City must invest in the communities that have borne the brunt of the over-policing and under-investment that fueled the mass incarceration machine. These communities are the same ones who are most vulnerable to rising sea levels,

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  • govcuomo cayuga

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    The saga over the National Grid moratorium on gas hookups illustrates both the best and worst of Governor Andrew Coumo.

    The fact that Cuomo was able to get the utility to back down from its moratorium, despite the long-term facts being on its side, is exhibit A that Cuomo is a master politician. He knows how to play the game and to control the spin. On the other hand, it once again reminds us of the governor’s penchant for egregious pandering to special interest groups he is courting and the eventual harm that it will

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  • joint industry board elect industry

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    For six months, National Grid has held New Yorkers’ gas hostage in an attempt to force through an environmentally-disastrous pipeline that those same New Yorkers fiercely oppose. Last week, Governor Cuomo finally pushed back against National Grid, in a letter threatening to revoke the company’s license to operate downstate. Considering that National Grid has stranded 1,100

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  • pripyatvisitchernobyl3

    from Chernobyl (photo: Where Can I Fly?)


    To the Editor:

    I respectfully but fundamentally disagree with the op-ed column by Leonard Rodberg and Herschel Specter, “Keeping the Lights On, and Saving Billions, While Addressing Climate Change” (Oct. 24, 2019), about keeping open the nuclear reactors in New York state.

    The column does not mention the greatest dangers nuclear reactors present: those from nuclear waste. This waste has been

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  • energy gov nrel gov 2

    (photo: Energy.gov/NREL.gov)


    The offshore wind energy revolution has arrived on American shores. In a relatively short period of time, East Coast states are breaking offshore wind records as they compete with each other over wind power. A recent report, though, by the Business Network for Offshore Wind finds that industry challenges will slow growth unless offshore wind states work together to find

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  • offshore wind gov

    (photo: offshore-wind-govMike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    New York Already has the Lowest Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Capita of Any State in the Nation and is Moving Forward

    New York State has just enacted a plan to bring its planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to 15% of its 1990 levels by 2050 and provide enough “carbon-emission offsets“ like forestation and wetlands reclamation to bring total carbon-emissions to “net-zero“ by that same year. These goals put New York at the forefront of the United States in

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  • declaring council examines

    Climate emergency rally (photo: @BenKallos)


    The likely future of devastation caused by climate change is one of several reasons activist Becca Trabin said New York City needs to declare a climate emergency.

    “You look out at this beautiful cityscape. You don’t just see these tall buildings that are standing here today, you see what this space will look like if we continue on our current trajectory,” Trabin said. “I see devastation all around, I see death. And I see that there is still time to avert that trajectory.”

    Trabin was

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 63 -- 2040, Seth Hulkower [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    S Hulkower2040 is the year by which Governor Andrew Cuomo wants New York’s electric sector to go entirely green; that is -- to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in that sector of energy to zero. This is the key new goal announced by the Governor as part

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