United States

United States

New York takes lead on renewables -- Governor takes swipe at Bush

The New York governor has announced a renewables procurement policy requiring all state government agencies to buy no less than 10% of their electricity from renewables by 2005 and 20% by 2010. "Renewables" included are wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and fuel cells.

New York Governor George Pataki has announced a renewables procurement policy for state facilities that is expected to provide a significant boost for wind development. Pataki signed an executive order requiring all state government agencies to buy no less than 10% of their electricity from renewables by 2005 and 20% by 2010. "Renewables" included are wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and fuel cells.

The American Wind Energy Association's David Wooley says the initiative is expected to result in about 330 million kWh a year of renewable energy sales by 2010, equivalent to the annual production of about 130 MW of installed wind power capacity. "We are very happy with the announcement and expect that wind will supply at least three quarters of the renewable electricity purchases," Wooley says.

The New York plan will help to develop a stable market for wind power, according to Peter Mandelstam of Arcadia Windpower Inc, a wind financing firm based in New York City. He says it should result in long term contracts for wind energy in New York.

In addition to his renewables procurement policy, Pataki, a Republican, announced the formation of a New York State Greenhouse Gas Task Force made up of representatives from the business community, environmental organisations, state agencies and universities. At the same time he called on federal government to take action on global warming, effectively taking a swipe at President George Bush's refusal to endorse the Kyoto Protocol.

"I am committed to positioning New York State as a national leader on the critically important issue of reducing greenhouse gases," Pataki says. "In addition to creating this important new task force, I also urge the federal government to immediately take action to further reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and carbon dioxide."

Pataki's senior policy advisor, John Cahill, will chair the 16-person greenhouse gas task force, which includes Wooley. It will report back to Pataki with specific policy recommendations by November 15. Those recommendations will be part of New York's state energy plan, a draft of which is due in December.

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