Forging a Path to Achieve an
Equitable Clean Energy Future
President, National Grid New York
Climate change is an existential threat to our planet and to our communities. Our government and companies that provide life sustaining energy need to work together to solve.
In December, the Climate Action Council (CAC)—a wide-ranging panel of experts appointed to prepare a plan for meeting New York’s climate change goals—released their Final Scoping Plan for meeting the ambitious emissions reduction targets laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) of 2019.
This plan is an important step toward a clean energy future that meets the challenge of climate change. As our leaders in Albany implement its recommendations, it is critical that communities that have historically been left behind are not just considered, but centered in our plans for the future.
A just energy transi t ion requires sweeping emissions reductions across all sectors, including how we generate electricity, fuel our vehicles, and heat our homes. At the same time, we must make sure we maintain safe, reliable, and affordable service for all—particularly for the New Yorkers who already struggle with energy costs.
The CAC’s plan correctly notes that increasing energy efficiency and expanding the use of electricity into areas currently powered by oil and natural gas will be crucial to meeting New York’s clean energy commitments. However, it also makes clear that electrification alone cannot meet New York’s needs.
As we move from plans to policies, we need to focus on:
- Modernizing our electric system and expansion to enable electric transportation and incorporate electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar.
- Decarbonizing heating for buildings and large industrial facilities.
- Expanding programs that help homeowners and businesses adopt energy efficiency measures that save money and protect the environment over the long term.
- Providing financial assistance for families and small businesses struggling to pay their energy bills.
National Grid has been hard at work on a plan to transition to a zero-emission electric and gas system, both in New York and across all of our service areas worldwide. Our Fossil Free Vision lays out our plan for meeting New York’s climate change goals using a hybrid approach that incorporates all fossilfree options available. In particular, we need to incorporate renewable natural gas (RNG) and green hydrogen into our plans for a hybrid clean energy system. These fossil-free fuels allow us to leverage our existing gas network to immediately start cutting emissions. Even more importantly, it ensures people and businesses who cannot afford to electrify aren’t left behind.
Our experience clearly shows that achieving ab fair and safe clean energy future will require using every tool in the toolbox to ensure affordability, choice for our customers, and reliability across the system. National Grid is dedicated to ensuring an equitable and safe clean energy transition that meets the threat of climate change while providing reliable, affordable energy for all New Yorkers. We look forward to working with our partners in Albany to achieve the CLCPA’s goals without leaving anyone behind.