Overview of Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Cuomo’s plan to “rebuild, strengthen and modernize New York’s energy system. The ultimate goal of REV is to change the energy system of New York to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 (“80 by 50”). Unfortunately trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of how this is supposed to work is not readily available even if you have experience looking for that kind of information. As a result I am very concerned that most of the public has no idea what the politicians, bureaucrats, advocacy groups, and crony capitalists are up to in this process.

REV has three major components: Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Reforming the Energy Vision Regulatory Docket which will revise utility regulations, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Clean Energy Fund that will support specific renewable energy initiatives, and the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) operations and programs that will “provide a foundation”.   The “roadmap” to implement the vision is the Energy Plan.

About REV

According to the state website:

The electric industry is in transition. Climate change mitigation is a global priority. Renewable energy resources cost less than ever before. Energy innovation is growing by leaps and bounds.

Yet energy infrastructure is aging, extreme weather is more frequent, and the energy industry is still based on a 20th century model.

This was never clearer than in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Seeing the effects of the storm firsthand, Governor Cuomo sought to rebuild, strengthen, and modernize New York’s energy system while bringing economic growth to New York. His strategy: Reforming the Energy Vision.

The Governor has tasked the New York Public Service Commission (PSC), the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to work together to make the Governor’s strategy for a clean, resilient, and more affordable energy system a reality, while actively spurring energy innovation, bringing new investments into the State, and improving consumer choice.

REV Components

According to the 2015 Energy Plan, the roadmap for REV has three “strategic pillars”:

  1. “Regulatory Reform” though the Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision Regulatory Docket, which considers an overhaul of New York’s utility regulations to give customers greater value from and choice over their energy use, facilitate the rapid expansion and integration of distributed energy resources into the State’s energy system, and transition clean energy from the periphery to the core of investor-owned utilities’ business models.
  2. “Market Activation” through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund (including NY Green Bank and NY-Sun), which complements the REV Regulatory Docket to reinforce New York State’s commitment to accelerate the growth of clean energy, improve its economic competitiveness, and protect the environment by reshaping the State’s energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy and energy innovation programs to reflect a common objective.
  3. “Leading by Example” in which the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) operations and programs will evolve to provide a foundation upon which New York will build a more sustainable and resilient energy grid while driving job creation. NYPA will also “lead by example” in developing innovative and transparent solutions to reduce energy demand, for which it will hold itself accountable as a model for the rest of the State.

Energy Plan

The energy plan “roadmap” lists examples and initiatives then claims benefits for each. Nowhere do they list the total benefits expected relative to the listed goals. I expect a “roadmap” to tell us how we can get to where we are going. It is as if when your goal is to get to Albany by 9:00 AM you are told the New York Thruway, Amtrak, airlines, the barge canal system and buses are available. The options sound great but just listing them does not provide enough detail so that we can consider costs, trade-offs, and potential unintended consequences to determine how to meet the goal.

Official REV Links



 Other REV Links