Comparing Fossil Fuels vs Green Energy Sources for NY Electricity

New York's green energy laws will make the state use 100% renewable energy by 2030. Find out how green really compares to fossil fuels for your NY electricity rates.

Green Energy Victory in NY

Green Energy has changed a lot in the past decade. Find out how costs between fossil fuel and renewable sources stack up now.
Green energy is no longer a novelty pipedream. Learn the how fossil fuels and renewable energy sources look head-to-head and how it all affects your NY electricity rates.

After years of battling, New York passed the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA). The act strengthens the state’s public utility company, New York Power Authority (NYPA), and moves the utility to 100% renewable sources by 2030. The BPRA will also create union jobs and lower electric bills. Green energy supporters are happy with the law and hope to see a trend of other states following in our footsteps. Some lawmakers in NY, however, worry about the switch to renewables and the costs to consumers. To better understand the issue, let’s compare fossil fuels and green energy for NY electricity.  

Compare Green Energy and Fossil Fuel Resources

Let’s start by looking at the differences between fossil fuel and renewable energy resources.

  • Fossil fuel resources deplete over time while green energy resources are renewable.
  • Fossil fuels need to be extracted and moved before they produce energy. Alternately, a solar or wind farm harnesses energy on-site.
  • Most renewable sources are intermittent. For example, a solar energy plant only makes power when the sun shines. But fossil fuels are dispatchable. That is, a fossil fuel plant makes power when you need it.
  • Renewable energy has a smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuels. For example, natural gas-fired power plants account for almost three-fifths of New York’s generating capacity. These plants released 1.65 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2021. Renewable sources, on the other hand, are considered carbon neutral.

Compare Green Energy and Fossil Fuel Costs

Now we’ll see how green energy and fossil fuels stack up in terms of costs.

There are also important indirect costs of our energy choices.

  • The bill for greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels is coming due. The cost of climate disasters in the US last year was $165 billion. The carbon impact of renewable energy is much smaller and gets closer to zero as the tech improves.
  • Fossil fuel plans release toxins that have a cost to our health. For example, near “peaker plants” in the Bronx and Harlem, residents have some of the highest asthma-related death rates nationwide. Conversely, wind and solar produce few emissions or toxic by-products.

Future Outlook for NY Renewables

We don’t know how the move to green energy might affect electric bills in NY over the next few years. However, we do know the cost of your electricity is a primary concern of lawmakers. In fact, electric costs are a key part of the BPRA. Specifically, the new law requires the NYPA to offer discounted rates to lower-income residents. Furthermore, many of the renewable energy requirements in NY are designed to lower energy costs in the long run.

One thing we do know is you can lower your electric bill today. Compare plans and find a cheap electric rate at