As a bookend to the 47th Earth Day weekend, here’s a second dose of good news: New York State-supported solar increased by almost 800 percent from 2011 to 2016, with almost $1.5 billion in private investment, CNBC reports. The news follows last week’s report that New York City now has the seventh most solar capacity of any U.S. city, surpassing even sun-soaked Albuquerque and Las Vegas.
New York State went from 83.06 megawatts of installed solar at the end of 2011, to 743.65 megawatts at the end of 2016 – a stunning increase of 795 percent. The statewide rise, like New York City’s, is attributed to the evolving economics of solar energy, including declining technology costs, abundant tax breaks and incentives, and growing consumer awareness.
"New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewal technology's increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all."
The growth was supported by the Long Island Power Authority, the New York Power Authority, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as other public and private sector backers.
New York’s Clean Energy Standard requires that half of the state’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources like solar by the year 2030.
"Clean, renewable energy will help the State meet its aggressive energy goals, make electricity more affordable for New Yorkers and bring about a more resilient and versatile energy system," says Richard L. Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance for New York.
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