Jackson Morris, a senior policy adviser with the Pace Energy and Climate Center’s Albany office, spoke to the Albany Times Union this weekend about the emergent solar power industry in New York State.
The story indicates that solar power appears to be gaining momentum in the state. Yet, according to the story:
Still, when it comes to solar power, New York has not even begun to tap into its potential, which experts say could rival that of Germany. That country is expected to install nearly six gigawatts of solar electric capacity this year, 100 times the existing solar electric installations in New York.
Jackson Morris, a senior policy adviser with the Albany office of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, says New York’s infant solar market may have been one of the factors that led GE to choose Colorado instead for a plant that will make “utility-scale” panels for large solar installations.
“They have a robust solar market and New York does not,” Morris said.
Morris, labor unions and environmental groups propose creating a new state incentive program that would require utilities to buy a certain percentage of their electric supply from solar generation. A system of solar credits, traded like bonds or stocks, would support the program.
Developers of large-scale solar “farms” would be attracted to the state, supporters say, knowing they would be nearly guaranteed a market. That could lead to a total of 5,000 megawatts of solar installations by 2025.
“Basically the sky’s the limit,” says Morris, who argues that such in-state demand would also attract manufacturing to the state.