New York Gets Historic “50 by 30” Clean Energy Standard

NEW YORK – The New York Public Service Commission today issued an order requiring that 50 percent of New York’s electricity come from renewable, clean energy resources like wind and solar power by 2030. 

A separate section of the Clean Energy Standard order establishes an incentive program to keep upstate nuclear power plants operating through 2030. The nuclear incentive level was established only for the next two years and can be adjusted up or down after 2018 based on market conditions; output from the nuclear plants will not count toward the 50 percent renewables mandate. In addition, the Public Service Commission, which is the agency overseeing New York’s utilities, reinforced its commitment to expanding the state’s energy efficiency programs, which would still need to be implemented by subsequent PSC actions later this year. 

The following is a statement from Kit Kennedy, director of the Energy and Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This is a historic day for renewable energy progress in New York and the nation. New York now joins California in requiring that 50 percent of the state’s energy comes from renewable energy resources like solar and wind by 2030.

“We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and others to achieve and surpass the target well before 2030 to give New Yorkers a rapid and orderly transition to a truly sustainable and pollution-free energy future that moves beyond risky fossil fuels and nuclear power." 

New York, with the country’s third-largest population, joins California, America’s most populous state, in having set a “50 by ‘30” renewable electricity benchmark. This also means that a total of five states (New York, California, Vermont, Hawaii, and Oregon) and the District Columbia – together home to almost one-fifth of the U.S. population or almost 65 million people – have established a requirement to reach 50 percent renewable energy levels or higher.

For background on this development, see Kit Kennedy’s blogs here. She plans to post a new one later today, as well.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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