New York Solar Energy Industries Association
In the candidate’s New NY Agenda: A Plan for Action, Cuomo identified solar energy as a key component to create economic growth, saying his administration would take advantage of the budding solar industry with clusters in the Hudson Valley and Western New York already emerging, and continue to encourage research backed by the state’s most prominent research universities.
“Andrew Cuomo recognizes that New York has the opportunity to become a leader in this industry and that we must take steps to invest in this sector so we don’t fall our neighbors,” said NYSEIA President Ron Kamen, senior vice president of EarthKind Solar.
“It is refreshing that there are elected officials, such as Andrew Cuomo, who understand the nuances of the solar industry,” said NYSEIA Executive Director Gail Markels. “NYSEIA hopes to continue to work with the Cuomo campaign to bring green jobs to New York State and fulfill our shared goal of making solar energy the least expensive and most widely used energy source in the state.”
Cuomo noted that solar PV costs are declining rapidly and are expected to go down and called for a “smart and financially disciplined approach” to support solar energy as a “strategically important renewable energy technology.”
Solar also offers the distinct advantages, unlike wind turbines and other sources of renewable energy, of being easily to implement in New York City and other downstate regions such as Long Island where the demand for energy is greatest, he said.
Cuomo said the state has to embrace solar power on a larger scale than it currently does. To accomplish this goal, Cuomo said the state should establish specific targets for the amount of solar energy that utilities and energy service companies must acquire, with provisions to suspend that requirement if solar costs do not come down as rapidly as expected.
Solar thermal projects are already cost-effective for both commercial and residential uses and can help decrease fossil fuel use with the potential to provide over half of the energy required for water heating in a typical home in New York at a fraction of the cost of traditional electric heating, according to Cuomo.
Cuomo proposes establishing an aggressive program under the Power NY Agenda to facilitate solar thermal systems in public facilities, private residences and commercial buildings as long as the financial payback periods are attractive. He said that New York should use both existing loan programs, as well as new financing approaches such as PACE financing, to accelerate the installation of solar thermal water heating systems on a larger scale.
“NYSEIA is excited about Andrew Cuomo’s solar platform,” said Kamen. “We look forward to working with him and other candidates to ensure bi-partisan consensus for building the solar economy in New York State, with the goal of 2,000 MWs of solar heat by 2020 and 5,000 MWs of PV by 2025.”
The New York Solar Energy Industries Association, founded in 1994, is the only statewide non-profit membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy use in New York State. For information, visit http://www.nyseia.org