NYSERDA Releases Spending Plan for Proceeds From RGGI Allowance Auctions
On February 25, 2009, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) proposed a spending plan for an estimated $525 million in proceeds from CO2 allowance auctions by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Under the proposed three-year spending plan, the money would be divided among 20 different energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in five sectors. The largest amount, 44%, would be spent on programs in the residential, commercial and industrial sector. About 20% of the funding would go to the electric power supply and delivery sector, about 18% would go to the transportation sector, and about 2% would go to the sustainable agriculture and bioenergy sector. The remaining funds would be available for multi-sector programs. About 75% of the funds would be used for programs that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while the remaining 25% would support programs with long-term investment horizons.
The plan includes six criteria the state would use to select which programs get funding:
(1) the program must be cost-effective and must maximize the quantity of carbon equivalents reduced per program dollar invested;
(2) the technology and investment must have long-range potential to reduce GHG emissions in New York;
(3) the program must have the potential to reduce the cost of achieving the emission reduction goals of the CO2 trading program;
(4) the program must create other benefits for New York, such as creating jobs, leveraging capital investment in New York to promote economic development, providing health and environmental benefits, and enhancing capacity to further reduce GHG emissions;
(5) the program should help reduce the disproportionate cost burden and harmful environmental impacts on low-income families and environmental justice communities; and
(6) the relative need for these funds based on availability of other funding sources for the targeted activities.
According to the proposed plan, NYSERDA expects the state to save about $196 million in energy costs over three years as a result of the programs funded by RGGI proceeds. It also projects an estimated three-year fuel savings of 10.6 trillion Btu. In addition, NYSERDA projects that the energy programs funded by these proceeds will reduce CO2 emissions by 1.1 million tons over three years.
A copy of the plan is available at http://www.nyserda.org/RGGI/RGGIdraftoperatingplan.pdf.