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The Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection at the New York City council plans to introduce a bill on Wednesday mandating NYC to carry out a feasibility study if the city’s gas-fired power plants could be replaced with renewable energy using battery storage, HuffPost reported on Tuesday, citing a draft of the bill it had obtained.
The author of the bill, councilman Costa Constantinides, who represents Queens in the NYC Council, confirmed to Huffington Post that there was such a bill, but declined to provide details.
According to the draft HuffPost has obtained, the bill would require NYC to come up with a plan by the end of this year on how it could replace the existing in-city gas-fired power plants with solar and wind energy coupled with battery storage.
Twenty-one of NYC’s 24 power plants burn gas, while the other three burn petroleum, while New York’s current top officials are vocal supporters of sticking to the Paris Agreement and curbing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, replacing fossil fuels with clean energy wherever and whenever possible.
“More than 68 percent of total citywide GHG emissions can be attributed to the energy used to power, heat, and cool buildings, which includes the emissions from burning fossil fuels both to produce heat and hot water in buildings and to generate electricity from power plants,” according to New York City’s roadmap to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050, or the so-called 80 x 50.
Small cities may have replaced fossil fuel-powered electricity generation, but nothing has been tried on the scale of a city like New York, David Pomerantz, executive director of the non-profit Energy and Policy Institute, told HuffPost. According to the expert, the deadline in the bill for replacing gas-fired plants with renewables will be crucial.
For years, NYC officials have been looking to reduce carbon emissions and have shown that they don’t like fossil fuels very much.
In January last year, New York City sued BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, and Shell, seeking “to recover the billions needed to fund climate change resiliency measures that the City needs to implement to protect the City, its property, and its residents from the ongoing and increasingly severe impacts of climate change.”
In July, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against Big Oil, saying that climate change should be tackled by the other two branches of the government.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.