Governor Cuomo Gets Serious about Solar

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This week, New York Governor Cuomo outlined his priorities for the year ahead in his State of the State address. Among his top initiatives for a building a better New York? More solar!

Touting the state’s successful development of other renewable resources, Cuomo remarked that,

“Now it is time to focus more attention on exploiting our solar potential.”

With rising electricity needs, plenty of sunshine, and a local workforce primed for solar jobs, that potential is tremendous indeed. To harness it, the Governor suggests increasing large, commercial solar projects while also supporting small and medium residential and commercial systems. With an emphasis on much needed job growth, Cuomo has set his sights on quadrupling NY solar capacity by 2013 and beyond. And along with those leaders from the business community, environmental advocates and organized labor, Vote Solar stood up and applauded the Governor’s solar vision.

The Governor’s proposal directly in line with the early years of the solar growth path included as part of last year’s New York Power Act. Passed by the legislature and signed by Cuomo himself, that legislation included a cost-benefit study for a more aggressive 5,000 megawatts of solar. (The results of that study are due out later this month, so stay tuned).

The New York Solar Jobs Act would make good on that promise, providing the necessary blueprint for 5,000 MW of solar development of all sized by 2026. In doing so it would stimulate immediate investment in solar jobs and infrastructure and lay the foundation for long-term solar leadership. Building a solar market that is comprehensive, robust and stable will mean quality jobs, clean air, reliable electricity and a bright economic future for generations of New Yorkers.

First the 5,000 MW study. Now the State of the State. It’s clear that New York plans to make a solar move in 2012. Let’s make that move worthy of the Empire State.

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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