The 2018 Solar Market Insight report shows New York made big gains in solar, yet falls short of pace needed to achieve Governor Cuomo’s clean energy goals
New York – With New York state leaders negotiating this month whether to include Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed Green New Deal in the new state budget, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables released its 2018 Solar Market Insight (SMI) Report showing strong growth in New York’s solar market with 373 MW of new development last year. While the report shows steady growth to date, it also reveals that without further action from lawmakers, New York will fall well short of its clean energy goals outlined in Governor Cuomo’s state of the state.
New York’s annual installment ranks #6 nationally, a 6-spot jump from 2017, but New York’s overall solar market ranks 10th in the nation showing there is still room for improvement. New York overall jumped up one spot from 2017, generating over $4.7 billion in investments, and sustaining nearly 10,000 jobs at more than 850 companies across the state. That success underscores the potential for the governor’s proposed Green New Deal to continue accelerating the transition to a 100% clean energy economy.
Without legislative action, New York is unlikely to reach its goal of 6 gigawatts (GW) of distributed solar, or enough to power one million solar homes, by 2025. That goal would require significantly more annual solar development. In the light of Solar Market Insight Report, the Million Solar Strong New York Coalition is calling on lawmakers to double down on its commitment to climate and clean energy leadership and codify into law Governor Cuomo’s 6GW solar goal in order to drive the regulatory and market changes needed to accelerate solar growth further.
Sean Garren, Northeast Senior Director, Vote Solar: “We’re thrilled to see the fruits of New York’s solar leadership once again, which continue to give families access to lower costs and create climate solutions. But despite the positive momentum, driven in large part by Governor Cuomo opening New York’s doors to clean, affordable and reliable solar, we are still falling short of the growth we need to achieve the clean energy goals laid out by the Governor. We urge Albany lawmakers to act fast to ensure solar remains a bright spot in New York’s economy.”
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association said, “New data from the U.S. Solar Market Insight Year-in-Review shows New York is installing more solar than ever before. However, the pace of installations is still far from the rate needed to achieve Governor Cuomo’s ambitious new 6-Gigawatt solar goal. To increase the pace of solar deployment, the New York Public Service Commission must quickly approve recommended changes to the Value of Distributed Energy Resources tariff, and the Legislature and the Governor should come together around the specifics of renewable energy legislation now pending in Albany.”
Cullen Howe, New York Director of the Acadia Center said, “SEIA’s Solar Market Insight 2018 year in review demonstrates that distributed solar continues to play a crucial role in shaping New York’s clean energy future. However, the relatively flat growth of residential solar and continued uncertainty concerning compensation for larger solar developments demonstrates the need for clear policies that rapidly grow this clean resource. Governor Cuomo should be commended for setting a goal of 6 GW of distributed solar by 2025, as well as 100% carbon free electricity by 2040. Now the state needs to ensure that these goals become a reality.”
Shaym Mehta, Executive Director of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association said, "With record-breaking installation numbers in 2018 and a workforce that is now ten thousand strong, solar energy continues to play an increasingly important role in New York's energy and economic landscape, thanks to continuing cost declines, a resilient and innovative industry and strong policy support from Governor Cuomo and the Public Service Commission. However, in order to hit the governor's target of 6 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, the industry must deploy three times as much solar it has installed to date. A stable, predictable market for solar investment is the best way to get there, making this the opportune moment for the New York legislature to codify achievable short, medium and long-term solar energy targets. Doing so would expand solar access for all New Yorkers, and put us on a path to meeting our climate and clean energy goals."
Jeff Cramer, Executive Director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access added, “New York solar is on the rise and we hope to see the Governor’s Green New Deal drive more growth — community solar can be a key driver of this growth. The unparalleled benefits community solar provides the local grid and the local communities cannot be overlooked as a part of New York’s new energy mix.”
The U.S. Solar Market Insight® is a quarterly publication of Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables Inc. and SEIA. Each quarter, the authors collect granular data on the U.S. solar market from nearly 200 utilities, state agencies, installers, and manufacturers. More information on methodology is available at www.seia.org/smi
ABOUT: The Million Solar Strong Coalition is a movement of industry, environmental, clean energy and community organizations united by the vision of a strong clean energy economy that works for all New Yorkers. Visit www.solarstrongny.org to learn more about the campaign calling for lawmaker support of one million solar households by 2025 and to read the policy roadmaps.