In Brief
  • A $1.5 billion investment allowed New York State to increase its solar power usage by almost 800% in the past five years, from 83.06 MW in 2011 to 743.65 MW in 2016.
  • Initiatives and investments by states like New York bring us one step closer to a fossil-free future that will not only help the environment but save us money as well.

A National Leader

New York is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to a clean energy commitment. The state boasts an almost 800 percent increase in solar power over the past five years.

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According to a statement made earlier this week by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, “New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewal technology’s increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses.”

The state generated 83.06 MW of solar power in 2011. Last year, that increased by 795 percent to 743.65 MW. The state has invested $1.5 billion in the renewable source of energy, and its governor recognizes the massive impact renewable energy has on the economy. “Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all,” said Cuomo.

National Push Forward

This kind of push to greater reliance on renewable sources of energy is not isolated to any one state. States across the country and even countries around the globe are moving to decrease fossil fuel use. Now that solar power is the cheapest source for new energy, it has become fiscally responsible on top of it already being environmentally prudent.

Other states getting in on the clean energy action include Nevada, with its push to rely on renewable sources for 80 percent of its electricity demand, and Massachusetts, with its proposal to switch to 100 percent renewable sources by 2035. The U.S. has the power to generate 25 percent of its energy demand from rooftop solar panels alone using current technology, and that’s not even considering the all-solar roofs that Elon Musk’s SolarCity is planning to offer at some point this year.

Predictions were made a century ago that nobody would be using coal by 2017. While that prediction has not come to complete fruition, it may turn out that it wasn’t too far off the mark.