Ten Years of Progress Positions New York to Take Renewable Energy to the Next Level

Media Contacts
Heather Leibowitz

Environment New York Research and Policy Center

New York, NY– Since 2007, New York has seen a 6,548% increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a 473% increase in wind power production, according to a new report released today by Environment New York Research & Policy Center. The report also highlights advances in the use of energy storage and electric vehicles that will help catalyze the clean energy revolution in New York. At the same time, New York ranked 9th for improvements in electricity energy efficiency programs.  

“Every day, we see more evidence that an economy powered by renewable energy is within our reach,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give New Yorkers the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.”

The report, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, provides a state-by-state assessment of the growth of key technologies needed to power the nation with clean, renewable energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. New York ranked 16th for wind, 9th for solar, and 4th for the number of electric vehicles sold.

“New York has seen significant progress on clean energy and has been a notable leader” said Leibowitz. “But, in order to ensure a healthy future for our kids, we need to continue to pave the way forward by transitioning New York as quickly as possible to a future powered by renewable energy.”

The report describes the factors that contributed to rapid growth in each category since 2007, including policies, improved technologies and lower costs, all of which suggest the potential for continued rapid growth in the years to come. 

“Key clean energy technologies are improving rapidly and getting cheaper seemingly every day,” said Gideon Weissman of Frontier Group, report co-author. “These and other advances open up new opportunities to end our dependence on fossil fuels and embrace a future built on clean, renewable energy.”

“We’ve build a good foundation with initiatives including the Clean Energy Standard and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” said Leibowitz. “But now we need to build on that foundation and do even more.”

The report also comes as a growing number of U.S. cities, states, corporations and institutions consider commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. Currently 37 cities have committed to 100 percent renewable energy, including Ithaca and the Town of East Hampton in New York.

Nearly 100 major companies have made a 100 percent renewable commitment, including Apple, Walmart and LEGO. Hawaii is committed to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045. California and Massachusetts are currently considering legislation.  And, bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress.

“The reality is inescapable: fossil fuels pollute our air, water and land, threatening our health and changing our climate even faster than scientists predicted,” said Leibowitz. “We need to seize the moment and lean into a future powered by clean, renewable energy.”