Last Monday, the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the state’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.  Utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power resources starting with 26.31 percent of the state’s total electricity load in 2017 and to 30.54 percent of the statewide total in 2021. Under the plan, the state will provide about $500 million per year in subsidies for twelve year for the state’s nuclear reactors.

The PSC estimates that the Clean Energy Standard will increase the average residential customer’s bill by about $2 per month.  Large businesses, especially energy-intensive ones, such as manufacturers, will end up paying much larger bills.

Gov. Cuomo described the standard as “the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history, to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable energy supply.”  In a statement, he said:

“New York has taken bold action to become a national leader in the clean energy economy and is taking concrete, cost-effective steps today to safeguard this state’s environment for decades to come.  This Clean Energy Standard shows you can generate the power necessary for supporting the modern economy while combatting climate change. Make no mistake, this is a very real threat that continues to grow by the day and I urge all other states to join us in this fight for our very future.”

Environmental groups praised the PSC’s action, because it imposes mandates for electricity generators.  The state’s Business Council criticized the PSC’s actions, saying that it failed to “properly evaluate the significant costs associated with the Clean Energy Standard.”  The group says that this will cost energy ratepayers billions of dollars, and will put manufacturing jobs and jobs in other energy-intensive sectors in jeopardy.