New York Mayor Pushes Investment in Renewable Energy Projects

June 18, 2007

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a series of renewable energy measures to help power the largest city in the United States and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His strategy dovetails with a state plan to reduce energy costs, curb pollution, and address global climate change.

In early June, Bloomberg said that the city planned to use more biofuel in municipal buildings. By the summer of 2008, he said, 30 percent of the city's heating oil purchases must contain 5 percent biofuel. That requirement will grow to 10 percent by 2010 and 20 percent by 2012.

At a June 11 ceremony celebrating the new Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project, which uses water turbines to generate electricity in the East River, Bloomberg said the project will help the Big Apple meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Bloomberg also said that the city is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for emissions-free electricity from solar power generated on city-owned buildings.

"Because we expect our population to grow by nearly a million people between now and 2030, it's important that we do everything we can to limit our impact on climate change, including supporting the development of more renewable energy sources. We hope that water turbines, solar panels, and other sources of renewable energy will be the norm in the coming decades, but that will only happen if we support these technologies and industries today," he said.

The actions are part of an overall plan called PlaNYC that the city released in April. The energy segment of PlaNYC is composed of 14 initiatives to improve energy planning, reduce the city's energy consumption, expand the city's clean power supply, and modernize the electricity delivery infrastructure.

Those initiatives complement New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's state plan, which he announced April 19. Highlights include:

  • Reducing electricity use by 15 percent from forecasted levels by 2015 through new energy efficiency programs in industry and government
  • Creating new appliance efficiency standards and setting more rigorous energy building codes
  • Investing $295 million for renewable energy projects throughout the state
  • Proposing legislation that expedites the review process for siting new wind power projects, re-powering projects that reduce emissions, and re-powering other power plants that have very low levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

In a press release, Spitzer said, "Nowhere is the need for a creative new approach more apparent than in our energy sector. We have some of the highest electricity costs in the nation and our thinking on energy policy is as outmoded as our aging power plants. But we can make real progress toward economic and environmental goals with a comprehensive program that focuses on energy efficiency and conservation, and investment in new technology."

For more information on PlaNYC, read the report. For more information on the state plan, see the governor's April 19 press release.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in New York, see: