New York can have 100 percent zero-emissions electricity in 2040. But it can’t have enough of it to keep the lights and the heat on.
New York’s Climate Action Council released its Draft Scoping Plan for the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act on Dec. 31. While moving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under this act, it is crucial that the state ensures a reliable supply of electricity at all times. But the plan falls short, leaving New York at risk of severe electricity shortages. This could happen during the coldest days of winter, when New Yorkers would be left without heat or lights.
The plan shows a gap of 15-25 gigawatts of electricity production by 2040, as much as 10 percent of the state’s electricity needs, according to the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). This gap is more than what is needed to power every home in the state and is equal to 10 hydroelectric or nuclear power plants.