The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority completed a study which encourages New York lawmakers to invest in solar energy. The study showed that although energy consumers will most likely experience increases in their utilities bill, the potential benefits outweigh the potential rate hikes.
The NYSERDA report was released on Tuesday showing that New York’s fossil-fuel usage would decrease by 4 percent and its carbon dioxide footprint would drop by 3 percent if the state increases the amount of solar it produces up to 5,000 megawatts by 2025.
The study further concluded that the improved environmental impact would come at increased cost. The expected cost hike could be anywhere from as low as 0.1 percent to as much as 5 percent, according to the report. In dollars the increase comes to between $300 million to $9 billion by 2025.
The wide range in increased cost is a result of the uncertainty of future federal tax credits for solar power usage, as well as the look of the solar marketplace in the future. The study analyzed several different possibilities for the future to come to its conclusions.
“Nevertheless, even with this range of cost uncertainty, given the many potential benefits that (solar energy) has to offer and the long-term potential for lower-cost (solar) technology, New York state should support continued investment in the steady and measured growth and deployment of (solar energy) as part of a sound and balanced renewable energy policy,” the report reads.