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Renewable energy groups push NY to put a price on carbon

By MARINA VILLENEUVE Associated Press​ ​ ​Updated

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Renewable energy groups are pushing New York to help meet its ambitious climate change goals by charging electric generators for the carbon pollution they create.

Putting a price on carbon will help New York meets its aggressive goal of 70% of its electricity coming from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2030, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York said in a report released Thursday. About 28% of New York’s electricity came from renewable energy in 2017.

Such a carbon pricing plan could mean setting a fee based on how much pollution costs society , from increased health care costs to flood damage. The idea is that companies that produce fossil fuels and bid their energy on the market will have to raise those offers and end up running less often. Meanwhile, hydropower, wind, nuclear and solar facilities would get more revenue from the electricity market and put in lower bids for long-term renewable energy contracts in New York.

Carbon pricing could slightly raise electricity prices for consumers in its first few years. But renewable energy companies and environmental groups say prices will eventually drop and that funds from polluting generators will also lower consumer prices.

The New York Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s electricity grid, estimates New York could implement a carbon price in 18 months once the governor gives his blessing. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't publicly indicated his stance on carbon pricing, and his office didn't immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.

New York failed to meet previous ambitious green goals, including 25% of the state's electricity coming from renewable energy by 2012.

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