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How New York is getting clean energy right

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The Brookings Institution says in a new report that NYSERDA is helping New York get a lot of bang for its buck when it comes to investing in clean energy.

A new report from the Brookings Institution [PDF] finds investment in clean energy is paying off for New York.

Brookings found that the states known to have clean energy funds have invested $2.7 billion in renewable energy in the past decade.

And they're seeing that investment come back four-fold.

"It's important to do everything"

The report notes that New York invested $15.6 million in clean and renewable energy in fiscal year 2010, and has sunk $114 million into energy development over the past dozen years.

New York's energy research agency, NYSERDA, is doing particularly well, due to its comprehensive approach, according to co-author Lewis Milford.

"I think the bottom line here is that a state like New York really is showing the way, that it's important to do everything, as much as possible, from supporting projects to supporting industries, to doing work force training," says Milford.

New York's comprehensive approach is one that the report's authors call for other states to replicate:

Once almost exclusively focused on building individual projects, state clean energy funds are already beginning to focus more on building whole industries. Now, in hard times, the funds’ transition from project development to industry creation should be nurtured and supported.

Milford says New York has also done a good job of cultivating its own industries, instead of trying to poach companies from other states. 

The state has been host to a number of firms investing in battery and energy storage technology.

Top 10

The report studies 20 states that have created investment funds for renewable energy. The top 10 biggest investors in 2010 were:

  1. California - $363.7 million
  2. Alaska - $50 million
  3. New Jersey - $41.7 million
  4. Connecticut - $30 million
  5. Massachusetts - $25 million
  6. Minnesota - $19.5 million
  7. New York - $15.6 million
  8. Oregon - $14.2 million
  9. Maryland - $11.8 million
  10. Wisconsin - $8.2 million
WRVO/Central New York reporter for the Innovation Trail
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