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Cuomo deserves praise for talk of renewables

It was great to hear that Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently committed to making more clean, renewable energy available to all of New York. With his leadership New York will enjoy more clean air and numerous economic benefits.

Wind power’s fuel source is free, and adding wind power displaces the most expensive, least efficient power source on the utility grid. As a result, wind energy plays a critical role in keeping our air clean.

As of 2012, New York relied on wind power for just over 2 percent of its electricity needs, yet New York has enough wind resource for more than 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs. The governor’s plan is to speed up the process to update New York’s electricity transmission superhighway so that we can put the state’s best wind energy resources to use.

Across the country, wind power already provides more than 20 percent of the electricity needs in Iowa and South Dakota and more than 10 percent of the needs of nine states. The current U.S. wind production provides enough electricity to power 15 million American homes and displaces nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

When electricity prices spiked during the recent cold snap, the state had more than 1,000 megawatts of wind energy helping to keep the lights (and heaters) on and energy prices down. In addition to being a reliable source of clean energy, wind power benefits our economy as well.

Investment in wind power in New York has totaled $3.2 billion thus far and the wind industry attracts up to $25 billion a year into our national economy. On top of that wind power supports tens of thousands of jobs and has built a brand new American manufacturing sector building more than 70 percent of wind turbine parts and supplies right here in the United States.

Standing up for ways for us to take better advantage of wind power and other renewables is clearly a smart decision by Cuomo.

Laura Lyman, Director

Communications & Development

Alliance for Clean Energy New York