Over the past decade, New Yorkers have purchased fewer than 60,000 battery-powered vehicles (BEVs), or less than 1% of the 9 million registered vehicles on the road. In 2021, they bought around 20,000 BEVs. A barrier to buying BEVs is that they are expensive, about $10,000 more on average than a gas-powered vehicle.
And, like everything else, BEVs are getting more expensive, not less.
That’s just one reason a new statewide plan introduced by the Climate Action Council won’t work.
Just before the New Year, the Climate Action Council — a group initiated by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration — released its draft framework plan, which details how the state will fulfill all mandates enacted by the Climate Change Act. the climate of New York two years ago. .
Seventy percent of the state’s electricity must come from renewable energy by 2030; requiring the construction of 9,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power by 2035, as well as 3,000 MW of battery storage by 2040. By 2040, 100% of the state’s electricity needs must come from zero-emission resources.
The orientation plan is a bureaucrat’s dream. At 330 pages, plus more than 500 pages of appendices, the plan offers a convoluted, wide-awake roadmap for how New York will achieve this green Shangri-La, including the creation of millions of new “green” jobs and the promotion of “climate justice”.
But President Biden’s national goal of 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030 will never be met. And neither will New York State’s 9,000 MW offshore wind target for 2035.
Because everyone wants to build offshore wind, there are too many physical limitations to do so. Rare earth metals must be used to manufacture the turbines; ships and crews are needed to build the foundations and erect the turbines; submarine cables and ships to install them must be provided to provide electricity ashore. And all of this will lead to construction bottlenecks, higher costs and long delays. Moreover, the environmental backlash against offshore wind is just beginning, which will stall some projects in court for years.
As for building 3,000 MW of battery storage facilities, that would likely cost around $1 billion, based on the $80 million cost of PG&E’s 300 MW Moss Landing facility that was completed last July. Moreover, it would provide only 12,000 MWh of electricity, about as much as New York City consumes in an hour on a hot summer day. When it comes to solar power, there’s the pesky problem of making sure there’s enough electricity at night.
The plane’s transportation assumptions are equally ridiculous. He predicts that by 2030 – in just eight years – New Yorkers will have bought three million electric vehicles and will be content to buy only electric cars and trucks thereafter. But for the very fundamental economic reasons that I have already mentioned, we are far from achieving this objective.
So where will all the electricity needed for this electrified economy come from? According to the plan, it will be powered by new technologies that do not yet exist. The plan might as well claim that the Starship Enterprise will travel back in time to deliver these new technologies. Better yet, why not just decree that the electricity will be supplied by unicorns and pixie dust?
Unless Albany also intends to overturn various laws of physics and, even less realistically, overthrow the state’s traditional bureaucratic incompetence and corruption, none of the law’s lofty goals of the climate will not be reached. Instead, the state will enrich the usual, politically connected suspects by flooding them with cash extracted from the state’s beleaguered taxpayers and electric taxpayers.
This is the real plan.
Jonathan Lesser is president of Continental Economics and a research associate at the Manhattan Institute.