Will New York Avoid Germany's Fate?
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- Jul 23, 2020 12:13 pm GMTJul 22, 2020 11:25 pm GMT
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In a press release on Tuesday, New York’s governor’s office announced they were seeking 4,000 megawatts of off-shore wind energy and other land-based renewable energy. All in all, the selected projects will receive $400 million in both public and private funding.
In the press release, Governor Cuomo is quoted, saying: "During one of the most challenging years New York has ever faced, we remain laser-focused on implementing our nation-leading climate plan and growing our clean energy economy, not only to bring significant economic benefits and jobs to the state, but to quickly attack climate change at its source by reducing our emissions." Governor Cuomo said. "With these record-breaking solicitations for renewable energy and new port infrastructure, New York continues to lead the way with the most ambitious Green New Deal in the nation, creating a future fueled by clean, renewable energy sources."
This isn’t the first time Governor Cuomo’s made a lot of noise about fighting climate change. He signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act last year, pledging to reduce the empire state’s emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050. And as part of the act, his office announced $30 million in funding for projects to modernize the grid in preparation for an anticipated green revolution.
Although the press releases certainly sound good, there exists skepticism about Cuomo’s eco-friendly sincerity. Energy Central member Bob Meinetz’s comments from a related article last year lay out some of that skepticism:
“The latest phase of his "ambitious energy initiative" is to distract from Holtec, Inc.'s purchase of Indian Point (IP). Holtec's closure of IP will replace its carbon-free electricity, which supplies 25% of New York City and Westchester County, with that from a plant using 19th-century fossil fuel technology. U.S. attorney Preet Bharara:
"Based on my review of publicly available documents and my interviews of witnesses," wrote the US attorney, "including employees of [Competitive Power Ventures], the importance of the [CPV Valley Energy Center] to the State depended at least in part, on whether [Indian Point] was going to be shut down.
As early as 2010, [former Gov. Andrew Cuomo aide Todd R.] Howe began to seek [Cuomo aide Joseph] Percoco's assistance in influencing the Former State Operations Director with respect to the Power Plant, most specifically by asking Percoco to advise the Former State Operations Director that the Power Plant was supported by labor unions and to advocate for the closing of [Indian Point]."
“In 2010, Cuomo accepted a minimum of $140,000 in donations from energy companies — likely a fraction of what he received from associated law firms and engineering firms with an interest in his energy decisions.”
But even if Cuomo is leading with the best intentions, we’ve seen well-intentioned energy policy have adverse effects: Look at Germany. And behind their failures, lurks the boring but oh so important realities of load management, as I’m sure those reading this forum know. Why should we believe New York will prove any different than Germany? Are the batteries going to be that much better when this gets off the ground? Is the wind in Germany that much less reliable than that off New York?
Let me know if you have any insights.