Gov. Eliot Spitzer Thursday morning outlined a plan to reduce energy consumption statewide by 15 percent by 2015, along with a host of policies designed to encourage investment in cleaner energy sources.
Spitzer said the efforts would address his concerns about global warming, the movement of jobs from New York state and the need for lower energy bills. The 15 percent reduction proposed by Spitzer would apply to the state’s projected energy usage by 2015.
Spitzer also proposed measures that would encourage increased investment in the construction of cleaner energy sources in the state.
In a brief interview with Newsday before his speech, Spitzer also voiced support for an effort to bring wind energy to Long Island, but said it had to be done with fiscal prudence.
“Like so many of the projects, we want to get production on line,” he said. “Cost is obviously a factor. We have to take a look at the costs, as LIPA is doing.”
Spitzer was referring to the Long Island Power Authority’s recently begun review of cost issues of the wind farm. He said it was possible state programs could play a role in reducing the cost burden.
Newsday this week reported the cost for the 40-turbine wind project proposed for the waters off Jones Beach exceeded $600 million in an estimate given to LIPA last fall. The resulting cost for energy from the facility would be astronomical, analysts have said.
Spitzer’s plans would call for billions of dollars of new investment in the state’s power grid, with a focus on clean, renewable power sources. Those investments must be recouped by developers and power producers through power purchase agreements that are reflected in consumer bills.
Asked after his speech how his approach would lower bills in light of those investments, Spitzer said his focus on energy reduction and more efficient appliances and facilities would sharply reduce consumption, more than offsetting any increases.
By Mark Harrington
19 April 2007
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