New York’s solar governor announces run for Oz PM (dream on!)

Tsun behind the statue of libertyhe need to save the world from environmental degradation and climate change appears to have sunk in to the halls of power in the United States. Renewable energy sources such as solar power are now not just “flavour of the month” but perhaps “flavour of the year/decade”. Well, in some parts of the land of the free and brave anyway.

While the sheer financial and political clout exercised by fossil fuel advocates such as the infamous Koch Brothers cannot be discounted, there are influential progressive, pro-renewable energy elements hard at work. They are, it seems, swinging the nation’s attention back to the benefits of renewable energy sources such as solar power.

One of these progressives is Andrew Cuomo, the current Democratic governor of New York. Widely tipped to be a possible Democratic presidential candidate (though he probably may have to wait in line behind the might of the Hillary Clinton candidacy) Cuomo is impeccably credentialed (for a Democratic Party politician). Andy worked in the Clinton administration — Billy Boy’s not Hillary’s — and still managed to retain a sense of dignity it seems!

Not only is he the son of Mario Cuomo, the 52nd governor of New York State but he also married into the Kennedy clan, the absolute gold standard for success in Democratic Party fundraisers. The marriage unfortunately (for the Gov’s political career) ended in separation in 2005.

But it’s Handy Andy’s highly successful and popular solar power initiative for New York that has tongues wagging.

According to this article in Think Progress, Cuomo recently announced a $1 billion extension of his already forward thinking 2012 NY-solar program. The aim is to install 3,000 (MW) of solar powered energy across New York.

The article quotes the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as saying:

That’s enough solar to power 465,000 New York homes, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tons annually — the equivalent of taking almost 435,000 cars off the road — and create more than 13,000 new solar jobs.

Not only will the project use the state’s 5,000 schools as “demonstration hubs” for solar energy but the SolarGov’s initiative plans to encourage microgrids throughout the state.

The NRDC said in a statement that not only has the project increased the alternative energy marketplace but also managed to:

…drive down the cost of installed solar power by establishing new, cost-effective and efficient practices and technologies.

Hats off Andy and the SolarGov’s team! Any chance of the Gov forming an Australian candidacy to run in 2017?

The question may be flippant but if Cuomo does decide to run for US President or even get a plum job in the next Democratic administration, he may well take this support for alternative energy with him.

If we accept that the debate in the US over renewable energy sources is beginning to rally around progressives like Cuomo (yes, a bold statement), then how long before this phenomenon is imported into our own federal and state capitals?

“Tony ‘The Tree Hugger’ Abbott launches 100 percent renewable energy strategy” may be a headline of the future just waiting to be written. Please fire away with your thoughts either here or over at our Facebook Page.


  1. Yes Minister says

    When “Tony ‘The Tree Hugger’ Abbott launches 100 percent renewable energy strategy” I’ll keep an eagle eye out for the flocks of pigs certain to be flapping past my window.

  2. Rich Bowden says

    Yes Prime Minister? It wouldn’t be the flying porcines that would bother me. It’d be the eco-friendly, renewable Speedos.


  1. Hollande's merger initiative (outside the presidential bedroom) - Solar Power Blog says:

    […] Recently we’ve contrasted the approach of the Oz pollies with the hands-on policy taken by the Chinese and also had a look at how this ethos is seeping into progressive US state administrations. See the article on progressive New York governor Andrew Cuomo here. […]

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