Gov. Eliot Spitzer today unveiled a new energy strategy that relies on reducing energy use 15 percent by 2015, investing $300 million in renewable and “clean” power projects and increasing supply by passing a new law to expedite power-plant siting.
“The result will be lower energy bills, a cleaner environment that addresses climate change and thousands of new jobs fueled by a new industry born from clean power,” Spitzer said in a speech to a business group in Manhattan.
“I want to be clear that this clean energy strategy, as critical as it is, represents only part of our broader energy policy. There are several additional actions we must take to increase investment in our energy infrastructure – including a focus on investment in transmission and gas supply – that will help drive down New Yorkers’ energy bills.”
Highlights of the plan include:
* Reduce electricity consumption by 15 percent by 2015 – what Spitzer calls the “most aggressive target in the nation” – by strengthening efficiency standards, rewriting laws that currently discourage utilities from conserving energy and committing state government facilities to use wind and other “clean” energy sources.
* Increase supply by passing a new law to expedite the siting of new power plants. The law, known as Article 10, expired in 2003 but Gov. George Pataki and legislators were never able to agree on how to renew it. Because of that, just a small amount of power supply has been added to the grid while demand has climbed.
* Allocate $295 million to let 21 contracts for “clean,” renewable power projects – especially wind. The governor estimated the state incentives could attract about $1.4 billion in private investment and that new facilities could be ready to operate by the end of 2008. Roughly 40 wind-power projects are already waiting to be reviewed by the state Energy and Research Development Authority.
“Nowhere is the need for a creative new approach more apparent than in our energy sector. We have some of the highest electricity costs in the nation and our thinking on energy policy is as outmoded as our aging power plants,” Spitzer said in the speech, according to a copy provided by his office. “But we can make real progress toward economic and environmental goals with a comprehensive program that focuses on energy efficiency and conservation and investment in new technology.”
By Yancey Roy
19 April 2007
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