Clean Energy Standard Proposal Information Page

renewables yes nuclear noThe New York Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering a proposal to require utility companies to buy increasing amounts of electricity from renewable and nuclear sources, under a plan called the “Clean Energy Standard.”

In a nutshell, the proposed policy will set annual goals for the amount of renewable energy to be purchased in New York, claiming to ensure a steadily increasing market for renewable energy. Despite the fact that nuclear power is not clean or renewable, the proposed policy will also provide massive subsidies to unprofitable upstate nuclear reactors. It will require utilities to buy nuclear energy at above-market rates to cover the rising operating costs of nuclear reactors.

The costs of the proposal would be passed on from utilities to consumers. The proposal does not currently include a cost estimate, though one will be released in coming weeks. We have little way to estimate the projected cost of the renewable portion of the proposal, but we estimate the nuclear portion could cost consumers on the order of $3.5 billion in above-market subsidies to nuclear reactors between 2017 and 2030.

The Public Service Commission will accept comments on the Clean Energy Standard proposal over the next few months, with a decision due in June, 2016.

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