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United States

Governor paves way for wind

A plan to guide energy decisions for the next four years in New York State received Governor George Pataki's approval last month. The policy applies to both government and private market energy use and gives a nod to renewables to help meet the state's energy needs, including instructing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to explore the feasibility of a statewide Renewables Portfolio Standard.

A wide ranging plan to guide energy decisions for the next four years in New York State received Governor George Pataki's approval last month. The policy applies to both government and private market energy use and gives a nod to renewables to help meet the state's energy needs, including instructing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to explore the feasibility of a statewide Renewables Portfolio Standard. This would mandate a minimum standard for the amount of renewable energy in the state power supply.

As well as energy saving, Pataki's policy plan calls for an increase in generation from renewables, which includes hydro, from the current 10% to 15% by 2020. The plan also adopts interim greenhouse gas standards for the state that will reduce emissions 5% below 1990 levels by 2010 and 10% below in 2020. The state is waiting for a final policy from the governor appointed Greenhouse Gas Task Force.

The 2002 plan was adopted by state energy planners after nine public hearings and testimony from 171 people. "Under Governor Pataki's strong environmental stewardship, New York State continues to be a leader in energy research and development," says Commissioner Joseph Boardman of the Department of Transportation.

Wind power developer Atlantic Renewable Energy completed the most recent New York wind project, 30 MW at Fenner, in October, giving the state 48 MW of wind capacity. The plan recommends that New York state solicit 60-120 MW more renewables to meet the requirements of Pataki's executive order for the state government to buy 10% of its energy from renewables by 2005 and 20% by 2010. The new energy plan also suggests that two state power agencies -- the New York Power Authority and the Long Island Power Authority -- buy 100 MW of renewable resources each.

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