New York State invests RGGI proceeds to support diverse strategies that mitigate global climate change and reduce pollution. The strategic goals of RGGI investment in New York are to reduce in-State GHG emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, build New York’s capacity for long term carbon reduction, empower communities to transition to cleaner energy, stimulate entrepreneurship and growth of clean energy companies in New York, and support innovative financing to increase adoption of clean energy.
New York’s diversified approach supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. New York’s investments of RGGI funds sit alongside other regulatory and programmatic initiatives such as the Clean Energy Standard and Clean Energy Fund that will both transform the energy marketplace and further reduce carbon emissions.
This approach will significantly increase the scale of clean energy in both supply-side markets as well as distributed energy resources that will be necessary to achieve the level of clean energy market penetration and greenhouse gas reductions that are at the core of State policy objectives. One exemplary approach that demonstrates how New York is advancing market scale for clean energy is through the NY-Sun initiative, which seeks a self-sustaining market for solar PV technologies through complementary approaches that support the State’s existing grid infrastructure, create jobs throughout the state, and provide clean affordable power to homes throughout New York. NY-Sun provides incentives for the installation of solar systems, while simultaneously promoting actions that can realize solar technology advancements as well as targeting efforts to drive down the ‘soft costs,’ such as marketing and customer acquisition, associated with solar PV installations. NY-Sun is also designed to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the benefits that solar PV systems can provide, and through the Affordable Solar program, New York is helping to provide solar options for income-eligible New Yorkers, reaching homeowners with total household income less than 80% of the area or state median income.
New York is also fostering energy efficiency market development to scale by building “whole-house” solutions that provide greater carbon reductions and consumer cost savings than electric efficiency alone can achieve. Initiatives in 2014 that have advanced this objective include Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®, Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®, and Empower New York, which provide comprehensive opportunities to address all residential energy uses, providing cost savings on all utility and heating bills; increase comfort and quality of life in the home; and significantly cut carbon emissions from the housing sector. RGGI also supported community-based programs like Cleaner, Greener Communities and Climate Smart Communities, which are designed to enable statewide long-term deep carbon reductions, and which allow the community to realize its own energy and environmental objectives. Cleaner, Greener Communities has assisted localities throughout the State with sustainability planning and facilitating project aggregation that helps leverage private capital and capture economic and societal benefits through innovative projects like mixed-use development, innovative financing mechanisms like Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and climate action planning.
Program Highlight: Growing the Energy Storage Industry
RGGI investments are supporting the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) Testing and Commercialization Center, which was created to catalyze, attract and grow the energy storage industry in New York. The world-class Center provides unique testing and validation services needed to bring new battery and energy storage technologies to the commercial market.
The Center offers product development services that are essential for researchers and companies to test the viability and performance of innovative energy storage technologies before they are introduced to the marketplace as new commercial products. These services can be difficult for individual companies to procure within a reasonable geographic proximity or at a reasonable cost, and include: testing for small single-cell batteries to larger megawatt systems, product development, performance validation, certification testing, environmental testing and battery lifetime testing, mobile in-field testing and on-site product commissioning.
Energy storage technologies, such as batteries, ultracapacitors, fuel cells and flywheels are being used to increase efficiency and reliability on the electric grid, as well as in transportation, buildings, and portable electronics where they are helping to drive a cleaner, more sustainable and secure economic future. An Economic Impact Study commissioned by NY-BEST estimated that the energy storage sector could grow more than 11,400 new jobs in New York by 2020 and 43,000 new jobs by 2030.