What NY must do for 2030 Climate Goals!

Like many states and cities across the country, New York has ambitious goals to reduce harmful heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the state must achieve net-zero emissions by limiting emissions to 40% of 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% by 2050.

Emissions with Needing More Forests

New York’s most recent report on emissions levels is from 2019. That year, the state removed approximately 8 percent of its emissions, primarily by carbon sequestration via forests. As a result, the state’s net emissions totaled 338.53mmt CO2e. 

The majority of those emissions were from carbon dioxide and methane, with the most significant sources being energy (76%), buildings (32%), and transportation (28%). 

As stated in New York’s Climate Action Plan, achieving such goals means “we must transform the way we make and use energy—we must maximize efficiency and make a major shift toward zero-GHG emissions in electricity generation, smart electric transmission and distribution systems, low-carbon buildings, and zero-emission vehicles, and increase options for alternative modes of travel and land use.”

The Energy Problem 

One of the state’s biggest hurdles is addressing its electrical grid problem. New York has two electrical grids in which the connecting power lines cannot carry any more electrons. The upstate grid holds most of the state’s clean energy supply, while New York City’s grid generates the most energy, mainly from fossil fossils. 

However, Governor Kathy Hochul announced finalized contracts for two transmission line projects to provide a solution. The projects Clean Path NY (CPNY) and Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE). For it will deliver clean, renewable energy in solar, wind, and hydroelectric power from upstate New York and Canada to New York City. The CHPE project is expected to be completed in 2025 and the CPNY in 2027. 

 “This announcement not only accelerates our pace to achieving the goal for having 70 percent of New York State’s energy to come from renewable resources, but we’re also creating sustainable jobs, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and paving the way for cleaner air and a healthier future for all New Yorkers. I’m proud that New York continues to lead the nation with innovative green energy initiatives and has set a global example of what must be done to take on climate change,” said Governor Hochul. 

Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Every Government Building

Solar and Energy Storage for Every Government Building!

Solar powered generators
Tesla Powepack system at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.

Fixing the grid problem is just one part of achieving the emissions goal. Yet the other is the permitting and development of renewable energy projects. At a minimum, the state will have to achieve 50% renewable energy and hydroelectric power by 2030.

Since 2001, New York’s energy sources have changed substantially. According to Energy Vision 2030, the use of coal has decreased from 16% to 2%. All the while natural gas has increased from 27% to 41%. If you look at the EIA’s chart below, natural gas accounted for the most energy consumption in 2019. 

It’s critical for the state to increase land-based wind, offshore wind, distributed solar (rooftop, community, commercial and municipal solar), and grid-scale solar. 

To streamline permitting hurdles, New York passed the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act in April 2020. Under the legislation, a new Office of Renewable Energy Siting (“ORES”) has been established within the NY Department of State. The office is responsible for establishing simpler standards and conditions. Especially when it comes to the siting, design, construction. Moreover and the operation of large renewable energy projects. 

According to the state, “combined with the existing baseline of renewable facilities in New York we are good. For the current pipeline of renewables already under contract and in development projects will power 50% of New York’s electricity once operational.”

While these projects are a significant and essential move forward for New York! However the building and transportation sectors also require urgent attention to achieve the climate goals.

Solar and Wind Rule

The report* explains that solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy will be the primary technologies. They are forecast to drive global renewable energy installed capacity. All from 1,695 GW in 2012 to 2,762 GW in 2020.  Thereby boosting the industry’s share of the world total installed capacity. That’s from 30% to 36%.

The solar PV sector has expanded massively in recent years. Also and with countries including India and China  getting into the market space. Furthermore they announcing ambitious solar PV targets.

However, there are no signs of this growth abating in the near future. Because GBI Research predicts global solar PV installed capacity to reach 331 GW by 2020 from 97 GW in 2012. Therefore climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.6%.

Why the Growth?

Spurred on by favorable government policies works too. For example and in countries such as Germany, China and the US. The global installed capacity for wind is also expected to prove a key contributor to renewable energy. Expecting to more than doubling from 284 GW in 2012 to 685 GW by 2020. All according to GBI Research forecasts.

Building Electrification with Energy Efficiency

The good news is that New York City recently passed a ban on gas hookups in new buildings. However it needs more energy efficiency as well. 

The ban applies to new buildings with seven stories or fewer that submit construction documents after December 31, 2023. Also and new buildings with more than seven stories and construction documents submitted after July 1, 2027. 

There is an exception for buildings with affordable housing units. For that’s depending on whether the number of stories is more or less than seven. For then they would be subject to the ban in either 2026 or 2028.

Moreover, the gas ban may even be statewide. Governor Hochul is working on a proposal to extend the ban by 2027 with the goal of electrifying 2 million homes by 2030. More than 800,000 of those homes will be low and moderate-income households.

Ultimately, these bans mean more electric stoves and electric heat and hot water systems. I mean of which increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Not only is this good for the planet, but people’s health.  

A study found that gas stoves leaking pollutants like methane. For they have the same climate-inducing impact as 500,000 gas-powered vehicles. In addition, during combustion, gas stoves emit those same harmful pollutants. I mean to people breathe in and can cause respiratory diseases. 

Aside from banning gas hookups, New York City also passed Local Law 97 in 2019 as part of Mayor De Blasio’s Green New Deal. Under the law, most of the city’s largest buildings (over 25,000 square feet) must reduce 40 percent of their emissions by 2030. Finally and 80 percent by 2050.

There is a limit based on building type. Also, individual buildings must submit an annual emissions report beginning May 1, 2025. Failure to comply with the emissions requirements will result in penalty fees. In all, Local Law 97 paves the way. All for large-scale retrofitting and the creation of new green jobs. I mean particularly for architects.

Energy Efficient too!

Yet making government buildings more energy efficient is also essential. In residential sectors, the new standards based on a proposal from DOE last year. For it will save consumers $5.06 billion in costs. That’s with a present value at 3% discount rate, net after added investments. In addition, it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80.4 million metric tons over 30 years, according to DOE.

Like basic stuff. For example, another robust way to save energy and money is using energy-efficient appliances. All whether your toaster, blender or washing machine. In addition a refrigerator or any other product. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency declared these appliances are robust. Also and most importantly energy-efficient products.

Moreover, you can replace the conventional home lighting system with LED lights. The technology used in this system provides quality lighting and lowers the electricity bills and carbon dioxide diffusion in the environment. Nowadays, LED bulbs rule out traditional incandescent bulbs in the market.

LED bulb and simple light bulbs.Green backgroundLED Green Lighting is always the way to go!

Lighting and HVAC 

Finally, a significant amount of energy waste comes from buildings. Thereby expanding the global carbon footprint. Lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. For they consume the most power in residential and commercial buildings. 

Therefore, people can install smart thermostats and lights to minimize energy exploitation.

Smart systems rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize sustainable power conservation. People can power their entire government building with solar arrays and energy storage. Then reduce energy load further  through high-efficiency systems and appliances.

LED Lighting Alone

Fluorescent tubes have been the lighting option of choice for a very long time. Not only are they very cheap to buy. However, you can install them in just about any location. For they can provide ample lighting to very large areas.

Problems with Flourescant

Yet of the more common problems with these fluorescent tubes are that they can develop a problem during the course of their service life. They can start to flicker as they age, and this produces an inconsistent quality of life. Combined with the buzzing sounds they make. I mean this makes fluorescent lights a poor idea for the office space.

LED Light Paves the Way

So, the best alternative for the fluorescent light is LED. For it is the one that comes highly recommended throughout our designs. It’s truly  the LED light. 

LEDs are the most cost-effective option available on the market. Especially when comparing them to fluorescent lighting. For example, LEDs are more energy-efficient than fluorescent lighting. I mean or any other form of lighting, like HID. This means that it costs a lot less to operate LEDs and they use much less wattage to operate. 

Another environmental benefit of LEDs is that they are free of mercury and the same toxic chemicals in fluorescent bulbs, which are harmful to the environment.  Also once you install them there is less maintenance costs associated with each and every bulb.

T8 Tubes

T8 tubes are among the most common sizes of LED tubes in office spaces. The ‘8’ in T8 refers to the diameter of the inch in 1/8 of an inch, the T8 is 8/8 of an inch or 1 inch. T8s can last for as long as 50,000 hours of use and this is 20,000 hours more longevity than the average fluorescent tube. So every government building needs to start switching over now. From school districts to government town halls to the DPW lots for plows. 

Electric Vehicle Adoption

For New York (from Buffalo to Montauk) to achieve its emissions reduction goals, it must also address the enormous chunk of emissions coming from gas and diesel-powered vehicles. According to New York City, plans to decarbonize the transportation sector by 2050 are underway. Electric vehicles have been the way to make fleets more efficient and sustainable!

New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT), says there were about 15,000 registered electric vehicles in 2021 with 5,000 of them purchased in the previous year. While it’s not a whole lot, it’s a step in the right direction and is expected to increase. To meet the environmental goals, 400,000 drivers will have to make the switch to EVs by 2030.

Charging Deserts

Currently, New York doesn’t have the charging infrastructure it needs to sustain the 15,000 EVs, let alone a mass adoption of electric vehicles. In the city of New York. Let’s not forget places like Mount Vernon don’t have access to charging stations but there are about 1,500 charging outlets and 100 new curbside charging stations in NYC installed last year. 

Unfortunately, most of the charging outlets are in parking garages and are privately owned. Accessibility is critical; therefore, more curbside charging stations like the ones recently installed are necessary. 

“With the climate crisis upon us, it’s time to plan bigger about how New York City can dramatically accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “With major federal investments in EV charging on the horizon, our plan lays the groundwork for a network of tens of thousands of public EV chargers equitably distributed across the city, enabling many more car owners to go electric.”

Ways to Accelerate EV adoption in NYC and elsewhere

Below are eight initiatives as outlined in Electrifying New York: An Electric Vehicle Vision Plan for New York City to accelerate investment and equitable installation of EV charging stations in five boroughs:

  1. Grow the city-operated fast charging network to over 80 plugs by 2025.
  2. Equip 20% of all spaces in municipal public parking lots and garages with level 2 chargers by 2025, increasing to 40% by 2030.
  3. Create a network of 1,000 curbside charge points across the five boroughs by 2025, increasing to 10,000 by 2030.
  4. Develop a level 2 and level 1 user-supplied cord charging system that integrates with existing street infrastructure.
  5. Advocate for funding and supportive policies from the federal government.
  6. Work with utilities and regulators to make it easier and cheaper to install EV chargers.
  7. Engage with EV stakeholders to better understand evolving EV market. Then the technology and charging needs. All through an industry day.
  8. Increase public awareness of EVs and charging opportunities through the PlugNYC marketing program.

This will save tremendous amounts of money on gas costs. You’re gonna see when the costs of EVs weigh out the expenses. No more hard core expenses. 

Wave / Tidal Power

Eco Wave Power just announce that U.S. President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are promoting a $369 billion renewable energy bill. The proposed legislation, under the name the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, would mark the nation’s largest federal investment, to date, in clean energy.

In remarks made at the White House earlier this week, President Joe Biden said: “We will invest $369 billion to secure our energy future and to address the climate crisis, bringing down family energy bills by hundreds of dollars by providing working families tax credits. … This bill would be the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis and improve our energy security right away. And it’ll give us a tool to meet the climate goals that are set — that we’ve agreed to — by cutting emissions and accelerating clean energy.  A huge step forward.”

Ways to Move Forward

“The United States is a respected global leader in climate initiatives. And such a massive investment into renewable energy – the largest investment ever – is critical towards building a cleaner and healthier planet,” said Inna Braverman, Eco Wave Power’s Founder and CEO. “The United States has over 95,000 miles of coastline and over 128 million Americans live in coastal counties. Making blue energy a smart renewable energy solution for the United States while positioning the United States as a key market for Eco Wave Power.”

Imagine the Long Island Sound or the Atlantic Ocean as baseline power folks!!

Combined we can do this

If we did solar and energy storage with wind and tidal we can go off the nasty grid. I don’t think it. I know it. It’s obvious government can lead that way and then sell the power excess to the marketplace. Local government needs to reduce operating costs. This is the best way to go about it. Save energy as clean and green as possible!

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