New York State Aims for 100 MW of Rooftop Solar Power by 2015


photo: Seth Anderson via flickr

New York State Governor David Patterson wants your rooftop! Well, the rooftops of public and private facilities which are willing to enter into a public-private partnership with the New York State Power Authority so that the state can install 100 MW of solar power:The whole thing is intended to help the state meet its goal of getting 45% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Proposals for facilities wishing to participate are due by July 7 (here's the Request for Expressions of Interest document); selected proposals are expected to begin in 2010.

Reuters Entirely Mis-Characterizes Why Solar is Important
That's all the good news. But to digress into a bit of media analysis for a moment: I first noticed this announcement in Reuters and find the way the whole thing presented to be off.

After presenting the basic details of the announcement, the piece briefly goes into the financial details of the project (of which we don't really know all that much about, the specific being fairly vague at this point) and focuses on the cost of solar power versus wind power and fossil fuels.

Now solar power does cost more than wind power, and both more than fossil fuels on average—thanks in large part because of hidden subsidies on and externalized environmental impacts of fossil fuels—but none of the benefits are mentioned.

There is a one line mention that natural gas and coal emit carbon dioxide, but there is no mention that CO2 is linked to global climate change, only that it's going to be regulated by the federal government.

If this sort of coverage is all part of Reuters' rebrand their environmental coverage as 'green business' first and foremost, I'm not overly impressed.

More: New York State Governor's Office (press release)

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Tags: Renewable Energy | Solar Power | United States

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