New York State has great potential to generate power from renewable sources. By obtaining energy from renewable sources rather than from fossil fuel, New York can cut its dependence on foreign oil, and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable resources such as wind, water power, solar, geothermal and biomass already provide nearly 11 percent of the energy that New Yorkers use for transportation, space heating, industrial processes and electric power, according to NYSERDA and the federal Department of Energy.
Substituting renewable energy for fossil fuels can mean crucial benefits for New Yorkers. Such benefits include but are not limited to:
- Significantly lower pollution: If new york switched to renewable energy sources air pollution related deaths would decline by about 4,000 annually and the state would save about $33 billion in health related costs every year, according to a study done by Mark Z Jacobson, who works with the Stanford Wood Institute for the Environment
- Accessible and affordable energy: Renewable energy can help to reduce net retail electricity prices and fuel price volatility, and can bring downward pressure on wholesale market electricity prices by replacing power from more expensive generation units.
- Energy “insurance”: Renewable technologies can help balance the electric grid. On-site renewable power can meet certain energy needs cheaply and simply. Distributed renewable power generation and “microgrids” (clusters of buildings that share a local electric power generation or energy storage device capable of disconnecting from the utility grid) can provide resiliency during natural disasters.
- Economic prosperity: Because almost all the renewable energy used in New York is generated in-state while most fossil fuel energy is imported, local economies keep more of the dollars spent for renewable energy. Stable, well-paid jobs in grid-scale renewables can help sustain local economies. Growing markets for renewable technologies play to New York’s technical, industrial, commercial and financial strengths.