New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is intended to increase use of renewable resources in the state by creating a RPS fund from which to procure renewable energy. Ratepayers pay a small additional fee on their monthly bill which is used to develop and procure renewable energy. The current regulatory goal aims to provide 29% of the state’s electricity through renewable sources by 2015. The state profile below explores the design of this policy, highlighting the factors that influence the success of New York’s RPS goals and the tradeoffs inherent to it. The RPS feasibility calculator is not currently available for New York, because of nature of the policy.
- 29% of the state's energy consumption must be from renewable sources by 2015
- Carve-out for new sources and distributed generation
- No legally defined cost cap
Carve-outs can create economic opportunities in the state by introducing new or promising technologies into the market. However, these standards limit the utilities’ ability to substitute between renewable energy sources, potentially increasing the cost of the policy. New York established ‘tiers’ for new generation and customer sited generation. There are not strict rules governing the level of energy that must be procured from each tier.
Compare the goal established in the RPS to what is being achieved.
The following chart compares the variety of sources currently used to generate New york’s electricity. The color of each bar is indicative of the carbon intensity of each source.
Cost Cap Details
Due to the nature of their policy, New York does not have a traditional cost cap or limit on the potential increase in electricity costs as a result of this policy. However, the costs associated with New York’s RPS are limited to the approved fee charged to ratepayers.
Historic retail prices (¢ / kWh)
The above chart presents historical data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the price at which residential customers can purchase electricity. Typically, states set explicit cost caps relative to the retail price (as opposed to the lower wholesale price).
New York’s RPS is unique among states in that all renewable power is centrally procured by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). This authority manages the RPS fee charged to eligible consumers, and uses it to procure renewable energy to meet the RPS goal. The State’s RPS was originally adopted in 2004 with a goal of 25% renewable power by 2013. This goal was updated in 2010 to the current target. New York is expected to meet 20.7% of the current 29% target with existing sources. This policy also expects to procure the equivalent of 1% renewable power through voluntary green energy programs.
RPS Technical Details
|Eligible Technologies||Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells, CHP/Cogeneration, Anaerobic Digestion, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Ocean Thermal, Ethanol, Methanol, Biodiesel, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels|
|Geographic Eligibility||New York only|
|Percent of Total Load||N/A|
|Technology Requirements||New generation|
Tools and other links
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) RPS data page—Datasets available for download in .xlsx format
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy Analysis Portal—Resources on renewable energy policies, and interactive web tools
- Energy Information Administration (EIA) U.S. Energy Mapping System—An interactive energy resource map with a myriad of data layers to explore