The Future of Solar is Bright as Political Barriers Are Broken


This past Wednesday the New York Assembly voted on and approved the NY State Climate and Community Protection Act. This crucial and timely piece of legislation requires that New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 from 1990 levels, which would require at least 50% of energy to come from renewables by 2030. It also emphasizes the need to improve disadvantaged communities’ access to clean energy sources and climate-related programs.

Many New Yorkers were forced to confront the potential threats of climate change when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. Some residences and businesses lacked hot water or electricity for weeks—or were wiped out all together.

This is one reason why the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance has pushed for the passage of this legislation. Members, many of whom struggled to rebuild their homes post-Sandy, want protections from climate change through investments in green infrastructure and good green jobs. UGE is working through RISE:NYC to provide microgrid solutions to small businesses that were affected, and strengthen their energy resilience in the event of future storms.

How will New York reach these targets? The Assembly has left that task for the Department of Environmental Conservation to decide, but we know that renewables are feasible. According to Mark Jacobson, a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering, the only barriers to 100% clean energy are social and political. Check out the report for how each of the 50 states can get 100% of their energy from renewables by 2050 here.

In fact, renewables are on the rise and show promising growth—while fossil fuel jobs are down 14%. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, with the solar PV sector as the largest employer. This is no surprise, considering solar grew 119% in the US alone this past year and renewable energy costs continue to decline.

At UGE our financing approaches make it not only possible for your business to go solar—they allow you to start savingfrom the first day you make the switch. Our microgrid and storage solutions allow you to cut costs while increasing yourgrid resilience, protecting you from outages like those that occurred during Superstorm Sandy. The time to switch to sustainable, reliable, cheaper energy is now, and we’re glad New York agrees.