By James Burgess for OilPrice.com
On Wednesday last week Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, delivered his State of the State address, in which he declared an even greater commitment to renewable energy, led by an extra $1 billion to be offered in new funding for solar projects.
The $1 billion will be available under the NY-Sun Initiative, which Cuomo set-up in 2012 and has already helped to encourage the installation of nearly 300 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity; which Cleantechnica claims is more than was installed throughout the entire decade before the program.
With this big financial boost, Cuomo hopes that the NY-Sun Initiative will be able to encourage the installation of an additional 3,000MW of solar power across the state, which the Natural Resources Defense Council claims is "enough solar to power 465,000 New York homes, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tons annually — the equivalent of taking almost 435,000 cars off the road — and create more than 13,000 new solar jobs."
As well as the boost to the NY-Sun Initiative, Cuomo announced other programs to encourage clean energy, such as K-Solar, which will look to use the states 5,000 schools as demonstration hubs to increase the number of solar energy projects in the local communities. A new NY Prize competition will offer $40 million to boost the development of microgrids around the state; an attempt to try and protect the electrical grid from disruptions caused by extreme weather such as Superstorm Sandy.
Renewable Heat NY is another scheme that looks to use private sector investment to try and boost the usage of biomass heating in homes rather than the more expensive, and dirtier heating oil generally used.
The Natural Resources Defense Council pointed out that the NY-Sun Initiative had helped to expand the solar market in New York, as well as helping "to drive down the cost of installed solar power by establishing new, cost-effective and efficient practices and technologies."
Cuomo's efforts have helped New York become one of the top producers of solar power in the US. The Solar Energy Industries Association said that the state now has "enough solar to power more than 30,900 homes, New York currently ranks 12th in the country for installed solar capacity. There are more than 411 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing more than 3,300 people."
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