New York’s Renewable Energy Plans Are Failing and Failing Fast

By: Ben Campbell | Last updated: Nov 07, 2023

Of all the states in the country, New York has created one of the most aggressive plans for renewable energy. 

But unfortunately, the state’s immense plan isn’t going as hoped—in fact, some say it’s completely failing. Is the quest for renewable energy all just a delusion?

New York’s 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

Back in 2019, the state of New York made some seriously big promises to its people and the entire planet. 

Banner provided by the New York state government that reads “100% zero-emissions electricity by 2040”

Source: NY.Gov

The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act required the state to cut all fossil-fuel emissions by 40% before 2030 and by 85% before 2050. The state has also released advertisements such as the one above, claiming it will be “100% zero-emissions electricity by 2040,” although that’s not what the official act says. 

How Does New York Plan to Cut Down Fossil Fuels Significantly?

Of course, New York didn’t make these wild promises without any plan as to how to actually make it happen. 

Giant drills drilling for gas

Source: David McNew/Getty Images

Simply shutting down fossil fuels couldn’t work as residents of the state still need power. So instead, New York’s idea is to build enough wind and solar farms to subsidize the state’s energy consumption. 

Problems With the Wind Farm Strategy

While President Biden and various other government officials consider wind farms a fantastic plan, they certainly have their problems.

A wave passes a wind farm on the ocean

Source: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The biggest issue is that there simply aren’t that many ships capable of building the offshore farms the state has planned. 

Solar Panel Farms Also Present Issues

There are also several challenges to the idea of using solar panel farms to power the state of New York. 

Thousands of solar panels across a giant plain

Source: John Moore/Getty Images

For example, they are hugely inefficient, cause problems for wildlife, and are quite visually unappealing. Not to mention they’re expensive to build, maintain, and distribute energy. 

The Public Service Commission Decides Against $12 Billion in Subsidies

The next question on everyone’s mind is, of course, who is going to pay for all of these new energy sources?

Smog covers New York City

Source: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Getty Images

And just last week, the Public Service Commission voted to not cover the estimated $12 billion the 2019 plan requires to function as it was supposed to. 


Meanwhile, Gov. Hochul Announced Her 10-Point Action Plan

Just when the Commission decided against paying for the state’s transformation to green energy, Governor Kathy Hochul made an announcement of her own. 

New York governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement

Source: John Lamparski/Getty Images

She told her constituents that she just released a “10-Point Action Plan” that essentially reiterates what was promised in the 2019 act, but with no concrete way to pay for it. 


New York Residents Already Pay Handsomely for Electric

It’s important to note that even if the residents of New York weren’t asked to help pay for the new plan with their tax dollars, their electric bills will still be rising as soon as the clean energy sources are in place. 

Woman looks stressed while analyzing bills

Source: Freepik

Which is really saying something as New Yorkers already pay more for power than most other states in the country. 


Some Claim More Blackouts Are Inevitable

Being asked to pay higher electric bills is frustrating, but some argue that the bigger problem is the inevitable blackouts they are destined to experience if this plan goes through.

Blackout in New York City shows black buildings with no lights

Source: Robert Giroux/Getty Images

If the state is unable to produce sufficient energy from offshore wind and solar farms, the city will likely lose power entirely, especially during times of high demand. 


New York Winters May Be Getting Even Colder

High demand will come in the evenings during the winter months when New Yorkers come home from work and pump the heat to stay warm. 

Woman bundled up walking through the snow in NYC with taxis driving behind her

Source: Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

The notion is that when the entire city loses power, those people will be sitting in their freezing cold apartments until the authorities can get it turned back on. 


Other Ways New Yorkers Are Being Asked to Help

In addition to paying more every month for their electric and power bills and dealing with potential blackouts, New York residents are also being asked to help meet the state’s goals by changing their purchases. 

Electric cars lines up in EV charging stations

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The state is asking that New Yorkers make the change to electric cars and electric cooking as soon as possible in order to further minimize the state’s fossil fuel consumption by the target date seven years from now.


Can New York Pull Off Its Plan?

Realistically, everyone knows that fossil fuels are a problem and that as world citizens, minimizing the energy we rely on them for can help decrease the issues presented by climate change. 

Demonstrators hold a banner that reads “Code Red: End Fossil Fuels”

Source: Martin Pope/Getty Images

However, many people don’t believe that New York state can do what it thinks it can, and it certainly can’t do so without directly affecting its residents.