A report released this week by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority shows significant potential for solar energy investment in the state over the next decade.
The “Power New York Act of 2011″ analyzed the pros and cons of increasing solar energy in the state.
Various economic and environmental models were constructed and analyzed, leading the organization to report that “fossil fuel consumption could drop by 4 percent and carbon dioxide emission by 3 percent if the state were to increase its solar power to 5,000 megawatts by the year 2025.” At this point in time, only 19 megawatts of solar energy are generated in New York state.
Last but certainly not least given the nation’s hunger for job growth, the report estimated that 3,200 jobs would be created by the solar energy industry if solar demand rises over the next 10 years.
The downside of increased solar activity, critics are quick to point out, is the cost. Ratepayers would see an annual rise from 0.1 percent to 5 percent by 2025, which could equal as much as $9 billion in expense passed on to utility payers in that amount of time.
The assistant director of communications for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Dayle Zatlin, believes that the benefits outweigh the costs given the critical state of New York’s environment and its dependency on foreign oil. She urges the state legislature to invest in more research on the subject.
Tria Case, university director of sustainability for the City University of New York system, agrees: ”The environmental, climate and energy challenges of New York City are staggering, complex and interwoven with the aging infrastructure of America’s largest city. The widespread adoption of renewable energy and efficiency habits can help address these concerns.”
find the report here
What do you think? Looking forward to read your comments.