Comptroller’s Report Shows Renewable Energy Offers Opportunities for Economic Growth
Renewable energies include energy derived from natural sources, such as hydropower, solar energy, and wind power among others. The jobs created could result from increasing the amount of electricity to 25 percent of energy created from renewable sources by 2013 from the current 20 percent.
“New York has a number of characteristics that make it a natural fit for the renewable energy industry, including abundant natural resources, a highly-skilled workforce, access to capital, world-class academic and research centers, and supportive government programs,” Hevesi said. “As this industry continues to grow, New York has a real opportunity to create new jobs and attract investments to the State.”
"Alternative energy represents extraordinary promise for the economic future of New York State. As a leader in alternative energy technologies and research, New York already has many of the tools necessary to capitalize on this emerging industry and create jobs," Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said. "Comptroller Hevesi's report is another important reminder of the critical role our state and federal governments must play in supporting this growing industry."
“New York State lost 136,000 manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2003,” Hevesi said. “The Pataki Administration has set a strong goal for increasing our use of renewable energy. We now need to make the necessary changes to reach that goal to both help the environment and add thousands of high-wage, high-skill jobs to the New York economy, including manufacturing jobs.”
Hevesi noted that some communities like Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester, and Long Island are particularly well-suited for the renewable energy industry because of research being conducted at universities and private sector companies. He said there are currently 170 private companies in the renewable energy sector in New York State.
The report also outlines potential economic benefits the State could receive from strengthening the renewable energy industry, such as increasing State and local tax revenue collections, increasing revenues to farmers who could lease land to install wind turbines or begin cultivating energy-producing crops, and keeping more of New York’s energy spending in-state. Expanded use of renewable energy also will cut back on the release of harmful pollutants, which will reduce public health care costs and improve the environment.
Hevesi recommended several actions for the State to take to strengthen the New York’s renewable energy industry, including:
Hevesi also announced that he will audit the System Benefits Charge (SBC), paid by all electricity customers, which funds efforts to encourage the development of renewable energy resources. Hevesi’s audit will offer recommendations to improve accountability and transparency of the SBC, which is currently administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and is set to expire in 2006.
Hevesi initiated this study at the request of Senator Hillary Clinton and New Jobs for New York, a not-for-profit organization focused on retaining and attracting new investment and jobs to New York. Hevesi and Senator Clinton participated in a conference sponsored by New Jobs for New York on the State’s renewable energy industry at the Rochester Institute of Technology in February 2004.
The report focuses on those technologies with the greatest potential for growth in New York: solar, wind, biomass, and fuel cells.
Types of renewable energy: