How can New York state achieve its ambitious climate goals?

By James Basden, founder director at Zenobe Energy

In mid-2019, New York state adopted the US’s most ambitious climate targets, pledging to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in its own version of the Green New Deal.

The 2018 election, which saw Democrats gaining an overwhelming majority in the state Senate, allowed New York to follow in the footsteps of states such as Washington, New Mexico and California, all of which have passed major clean energy policies.

New York’s Green New Deal is a positive first step for the state, and was welcomed not only by activists, but by many New Yorkers. The state’s clean energy agenda, alongside its role in the US Climate Alliance – an alliance of US states and Puerto Rico that are committed to upholding the Paris Agreement despite the President’s withdrawal –  highlights the state’s forward-thinking approach to climate action.

Setting ambitious targets is an important first step; the next one is ensuring that businesses and state government seize the opportunity to develop, innovate, and lead the way in demonstrating how meaningful climate action can be taken at state level.

A green electricity system is vital to achieving net-zero emissions. New York’s Green New Deal promises to boost the amount of solar power in New York to 6 gigawatts by 2025 from the current 1.7 gigawatts. It also calls for 9 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2035.

While the state has begun making significant investments in wind and solar, energy storage is a crucial aspect of the equation. With heavier reliance on intermittent energy sources, such as renewables, energy storage is vital to balance the frequency of the grid and keep the lights on.

The state is committed to increasing energy storage deployment to 3,000 megawatts by 2030 – the most ambitious target in the country. This could end up delivering more than $3 billion in benefits to New Yorkers and saving two million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, making huge strides towards achieving Governor Cuomo’s ambitious goals.

In the UK, Zenobe is working hard to help Britain achieve its net-zero targets. With 73MW of operational assets, we provide more megawatt hours of frequency balancing than any other battery storage provider. Our hardware and software capabilities mean we were the first to provide Fast Reserve services to National Grid ESO, delivering over 50MW of reserve power in less than 12 seconds.

In the utilities sector, we work with some of the largest utility companies to provide energy storage solutions as-a-service, helping to reduce the environmental impact of these power-intensive industries. For example, we recently announced our partnership with the largest listed water company in the UK, United Utilities, to bring the biggest battery to the UK water sector to date. Our 2MW battery will connect to the company’s solar panels on a site that serves 260,000 local homes and businesses.

In the transport sector, our partnerships with fleet operators have accelerated the roll out of electric vehicles across Britain by helping them overcome grid constraints and budget restrictions. 25% of the EV bus market in the UK is now Zenobe-powered, and these buses are being deployed to cities and towns across the UK to improve air quality in local areas. In a country where transport is currently the most polluting sector, contributing 34% of carbon dioxide emissions, our batteries help reduce the number of diesel vehicles, giving communities a more sustainable future.

Solutions like ours are vital if states like New York are to achieve ambitious targets. Battery storage can help government bodies and businesses transition to net-zero in a sustainable and cost-effective way, bringing a cleaner and greener environment for US citizens. To find out more about what we’re doing in the US, get in touch.