NRDC's Pierre Bull discusses the benefits of ramping up solar power in NY.

Make New York a Solar Leader

New York has the potential to lead a new solar economy, but weak polices are holding the state back – leaving an enormous opportunity to create jobs and curb climate change untapped.

solar panels

New York Solar Potential

New York has made modest strides in building up a clean energy supply, but neighboring states are outpacing us to lead the region’s expanding solar market. The Empire State has the drive – and the sunshine – to lead the solar industry, but it still provides less than 0.02 percent of our electricity.

We’re sending thousands of jobs and billions of dollars out the door to states like New Jersey that have made firm commitments to solar power.

Solar Jobs Act

The New York Solar Jobs Act provides a much-needed path for New York to become a solar leader by ramping up the amount of solar power we use for electricity. The bill creates a flexible, market-based program requiring utilities and other electricity providers to gradually increase the amount of solar power they produce – until it reaches at least 2.5 percent of their sales by 2025. The benefits:

solar capacity

It’s good for the economy. The bill would create 22,000 high-quality jobs, spur more than $20 billion in economic development by 2025, and provide a lifeline for businesses struggling to get a hold on energy costs.

New York will have a more reliable and responsive energy grid. Utilities and other electricity providers would collectively generate about 5,000 megawatts of solar power statewide by 2025 – that’s enough energy to power half a million homes per year.

It battles climate change and air pollution.The program would reduce carbon emissions by 120 million tons – or the equivalent of 2.7 million cars taken off the road.

It’s inexpensive. The average cost to households would be about .39 cents per month – less than the cost of a postage stamp.

We know it works. The framework is modeled after best practices from successful programs in other states. Find out more about the bill:

The Solar Jobs Act: S.4178 & A.5713
Switchboard: Solar Bill Can Make NY Industry Leader by 2025
Vote Solar: About the New York Solar Industry Development & Jobs Act


  • Working to significantly scale up energy efficiency standards in buildings, through programs that create demand and break down barriers keeping us from harnessing this critical resource. Learn about our efforts to build on New York's Greener Greater Buildings plan.
  • Developing innovative financing mechanisms to facilitate investment in energy efficiency for homes and commercial buildings. Learn about New York's Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
  • Researching the effects that climate change could have on public health, so that New York's officials understand the risks and are prepared to adapt and implement solutions. Learn more about global warming and health.

NY Blogs on Switchboard

Gov. Cuomo Launches Solar Schools Program for NY
posted by Nathanael Greene, 1/8/14
Northeast Governors move forward with LCFS MOU
posted by Nathanael Greene, 12/30/09
11 States move to develop a low-carbon fuel standard
posted by Nathanael Greene, 1/8/09
Solar wins in NY, sparks controversy in CA
posted by Nathanael Greene, 6/20/08
Bioheat is like all biofuels: we got to get it right
posted by Nathanael Greene, 5/20/08

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