What is Alternative Energy?
Alternative energy refers to any source of energy or energy-generating technologies that are not being used to generate the majority of what is consumed today. Presently, 84% of the energy consumed in the United States comes from traditional fossil fuel sources such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Alternative energy sources include installed wind generation and solar generation (see other tabs on our website) and also electricity generation from landfill gas or solid municipal waste. These alternative energy sources reduce our dependence on depleting fossil fuels, which are hugely exported from unstable nations, and allow us creative development domestically, leading to job creation. Additionally, alternative energy technology is focused on reducing harm to the natural environment, which includes the severe carbon emissions that develops as a byproduct of generating energy from dirtier fuels like coal. Reducing carbon emissions will not only help combat the likelihood of global warming consequences, but will also lead to cleaner air for all.
Alternative Energy in New York
In the US, 80 percent of the population now lives in large cities and almost 85 percent of US GDP was generated by 259 large cities in 2010 – New York City is a significant contributor. Alternative Energy is at the center of New York state’s concerted strategy to move to a clean energy economy and New York City has long been an innovator of policy, business, and technology. New York is home to more than 50 companies that manufacture alternative energy technologies, or related products, and over 90 companies are certified to install solar photovoltaic systems. From 2009 to 2012, asset finance totaled $20 million and venture capital and private equity grossed $992.8 million. The alternative energy industry needs continual support in multifaceted settings with incentives and continued workforce development.
With the ever-shrinking reserves of coal and growing pressure to clean up its act, New York City is learning to embrace alternative energy sources and clean tech. The renewable energy race is heating up as countries around the world are setting clear goals for alternative energy and efficient energy use, along with carbon emission targets and investment strategies to promote green energy technology development. Federal incentives such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) spur production and deployment of alternative energy technologies while managing the risk of investing in green energy development. These clean energy initiatives mark a national, cultural change as states and municipalities around the country are instituting clean energy standards that mandate a certain percentage of their power to be from alternative energy sources.
New York, in particular, has passed Local Laws 84 and 87 which require energy benchmarking and audit of commercial buildings larger than 50,000 gross square feet along with city-wide programs such as PlaNYC that aspires to reduce global warming emissions by 30%. Despite a $200 billion+ renewable energy market, programs that are available to finance or subsidize costs of alternative energy projects cannot fulfill the overwhelming demand. In one case, Tampa Electric reached its $1 million cap for its solar rebate program just 72 hours after the Florida-based company began to take reservations. In order to optimally benefit from programs in NYC such as NYSERDA, well-versed professionals aware of industry-leading practices are necessary to navigate the alternative energy industry as it becomes increasingly more complex.
Associated Renewable wants to help New York increase its market share of the alternative energy industry. The Associated Renewable Energy Solutions team has an in-depth understanding of new and traditional technologies available to clients seeking alternative energy sources in order to lower operating costs and achieve global independence from fossil fuels.