Renewable energy development remains a key goal as New York plans for its energy future. New York’s lofty energy portfolio standard makes it absolutely necessary to determine the best plan for new and expanded development of renewables. In order to determine the feasibility of growing the state’s renewable industry, the New York State Energy Planning Board is developing a quantitative
assessment of the success of efficiency improvements and renewable energy technology.
According to a November 2011 study by the Distributed Energy Financial Group, New York ranks second in terms of ease of access for energy suppliers to participate in its competitive energy market. The ranking highlights in-state and reliable sources of power as a major benefit that helps reduce electricity prices. The report carefully infers that mandatory public policies inhibit technological innovation (in wind and solar) and suggests that policy makers allow consumers to decide the source of their power.
“Consumer choice mitigates some problems of central decision making by offering a diverse set of options that meet people’s diverse preferences. Rather than a one‐size‐fits‐all approach or a government‐mandated outcome, a competitive market is comprised of companies that offer a range of products and services. Consumers choose the ones that best match their needs,” the report finds.
Compared to other states, New York has an advantage because of the New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) advanced policies regarding demand response. NYISO’s strategic improvements have allowed for a 40 percent increase in new product offerings since 2010. This includes an extensive set of programs that encourage energy efficiency, renewable resources, and on‐site generation, including combined heat and power.
As the energy planning board develops its assessment and recommendations for future renewables development, it should keep in mind that, “A system of regulation that is designed to satisfy one goal will fall short on another.”
New York is positioned to reduce its carbon footprint through targeted emission reductions by large commercial buildings and increasing in-state power generation by clean power sources like Indian Point. The planning board should avoid “a one size fits all policy” that threatens innovations in wind and solar energy production and commits ratepayers to higher electric rates.