Clean Technologies - Wind Power

As clean energy use continues to grow in New York and beyond, we are making great strides toward increasing energy independence and affordability while reducing the harmful effects of fossil fuels. However, the cheapest and cleanest electricity is that which is never produced, otherwise known as the "negawatt."

A negawatt is energy not consumed, either by turning things off, not turning them on, or by boosting energy efficiency through using technology that requires less energy to perform the same functions. Increasing efficiency and conservation leads to a reduced demand for energy, which translates to lower prices for consumers and less of an impact on the environment. In every sector - residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation - there are opportunities to increase efficiency and conservation and reduce overall energy use.

In New York, a variety of energy efficiency programs are administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with money from a small surcharge on utility bills. A number of energy efficiency solutions are available to residential and business customers of New York State utilities who seek to reduce energy usage and costs and reduce the impact that homes and businesses have on the environment. In addition, New York has a major energy efficiency initiative - the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard - with a goal of achieving a 15% reduction in energy consumption by 2015.

UnwasteNY is a free public service available to all New Yorkers. This site contains information, resources, and tools for New Yorkers to learn about energy use and set a personal goal to reduce energy waste. You can find out how to reduce your energy waste by modifying everyday behaviors, and making some easy changes to your home. You can also find financial incentives and rebate programs to help you save money as you make changes to save energy. UnwasteNY is all about finding simple ways to help you eliminate energy waste and live resourcefully.

Weatherization Assistance
New York State also offers a Weatherization Assistance Program through the Division of Homes and Community Renewal where homeowners and renters can seek assistance to reduce the energy used to heat their homes and provide hot water. Eligibility for the program is based on household income relative to federal low-income guidelines. The actual energy audits and weatherization work are handled by local service providers.

Demand Response
In addition to saving energy through efficiency improvements, technology can also be utilized to manage the demand from electricity customers during critical periods of supply shortage or in response to fluctuating market conditions. Demand response programs help prevent blackouts and brownouts in our communities during times of peak energy usage or in other situations where there is extra stress on the electric grid.

With demand response programs, electricity customers, often through the use of dedicated control systems, decrease their energy use at the request of the grid operator (in New York this is the New York Independent System Operator) or in response to market prices. Following a pre-planned load prioritization scheme, the customer agrees to reduce non-essential energy-intensive services, such as lights, machines, or air conditioning, during the critical timeframes. Alternately, energy consumption can be reduced through on-site generation of electricity to supplement the power grid. When an electricity supply reaches peak demand, demand response can also help reduce the peak price and can stabilize pricing in general.

Commercial and residential energy use varies greatly throughout the year and even within a single day. Electric grid operators must respond accordingly to determine the amount of power needed from generators at any given point in time. Some types of power production can be manipulated to increase or decrease in response to changing supply and demand conditions. Others however, such as wind and solar, are intermittent due to their variable fuel source. Given the fluctuations in both supply and demand, efficiency of the power grid itself is another area where we can have a major impact on energy conservation. Especially as the proportion of intermittent power sources such as wind power in a system grows, demand response may become increasingly essential to the effective management of the electric grid. Combined with other technological developments such as advanced metering, demand response can have an important impact on creating a more efficient, reliable and effective power grid.