Achieving the new goal, which must be approved by state legislators, will require increased use of wind and solar power, as well as nuclear and hydro power.
Speaking on public radio on Wednesday, Cuomo said that new York had no choice but to switch to fully renewable energy because of the urgent need to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
Cuomo included the proposed energy standard in its state budget proposal, which was published on Tuesday. Legislators hope to start operating on the budget from April 1.
“We know we can’t keep doing what we’re doing,” Cuomo told WCNY about the use of fossil fuels. “You look at the scientific forecasts, and it’s scary…”
Environmentalists and renewable energy advocates praised the new goal, but stated that it would require training and determination on the part of the state.
Ken Kimell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, described the Cuomo proposal as “impressive, forward-thinking,” but noted that it would not affect emissions from cars, trucks, and other fossil-fuel vehicles.
“We will not be able to achieve these goals if we do not engage in transport, which is the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States,” the statement said.
The NY Renew group, representing 160 environmental organizations, trade unions and other groups, encouraged Cuomo to specify its proposal.
“Any truly comprehensive plan to combat climate change requires more specific timelines, planning processes and responsibilities,” the group said in a statement.
Others wondered why the state had to wait 21 years. Earlier, the Governor set a goal for the state: by 2030, to achieve the use of renewable energy sources by 50%. But now officials say that, in their opinion, the state can reach 75% this year.
If approved, the new renewable energy goal in new York will surpass those set in other States, including California and Hawaii, which have committed to achieving it by 2045.