3rd August 2010 New York, USA

Investors and project developers, take note.

Guest Blog by Jane Kozinski, Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Change at the British Consulate-General, New York.

The states in this region are moving rapidly to capitalize on the transition to a clean-energy economy and to support long-term sustainable growth. 

Here is a quick snapshot of just a few of the laws, policy developments and investments in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states that create opportunities for clean energy development. Similar policies in the UK are reaping economic benefits for the UK — new jobs, the home of global leaders in the clean energy sector, etc. The US states that are ahead of the curve on clean-energy policy will likewise be positioning themselves for long-term sustainable growth. 

  • Regional collaboration on clean-energy and smart growth is the trend.  The mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states and the federal government formed the Atlantic Offshore Wind Consortium, a joint federal and state cooperative group designed to promote the development of offshore wind and coordinate development efforts.  These states also just signed an agreement (the Transportation & Climate Initiative) to cooperate on measures to improve “liveability” in the region by optimizing regional transportation and smart planning.
  • To facilitate clean energy development, New Jersey just created a new office at the Department of Environmental Protection  – the Office of Economic Growth & and Green Energy. The new office will work with environmental groups, business and industry, local governments, and residents to explore and create opportunities for economic growth while maintaining environmental protection.
  • Off-shore wind got a big boost in New Jersey with the new Off-Shore Wind Economic Development Act. The Act incentivizes development of off-shore wind by setting a goal for off-shore wind energy production and authorizing Off-Shore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (ORECs), a tradable environmental attribute. In addition, companies in the off-shore wind supply chain (cables, blades, turbines, etc.) that locate in the state’s first Off-Shore Wind Energy Zone (the new South Jersey Port) may be eligible for tax credits. 
  • Maine also caught the off-shore energy wave. In May it passed a law that sets a goal of 5 gigawatts of renewable energy from offshore sources by 2020, and establishes a competitive process for development of off-shore wind pilot projects and tidal energy demonstration projects.
  • New York’s energy efficiency industry got a jump start with the passage of a law that authorizes “on-bill financing”, a mechanism that allows consumers to simply pay for their energy efficiency improvements directly as a line-item on their monthly energy bills. 
  • Pennsylvania continued to support renewable energy development this month by investing $18 million in renewable energy projects from the state’s $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund. 

This is really a short list of the many state-level clean energy economic development programs in this region. There are many more. These efforts – undertaken in challenging economic times — demonstrate real commitment to sustainable growth.

About Dominic Meiklejohn

I was born in Woking, outside London, in 1967 and attended Merton College, Oxford University, graduating in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After university, I worked for HM Customs and Excise…

I was born in Woking, outside London, in 1967 and attended Merton College, Oxford University, graduating in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

After university, I worked for HM Customs and Excise before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1990. After working for the European Community Department, I learned Polish and began a posting at the British Embassy Warsaw, where I headed the British Know How Fund for Poland (1993-96). In 1997, I worked for the OSCE Mission in Albania, before heading up the India team in the South Asian Department of the FCO. In 2000, I was posted as First Secretary to the British Embassy Warsaw, with a particular focus on European Union issues in the run-up to Poland’s accession to the EU. In 2003, I returned to the UK as Deputy Head of the Environment Policy Department. From 2004-2005, I led the FCO’s Knowledge Management Programme. During this period, I led two deployments of the FCO’s Consular Rapid Deployment Team– to Sri Lanka, after the tsunami in 2004 and to Pakistan, after the earthquake in 2005. From 2006-2007, I served as Deputy Consul-General, Basra, Iraq. From June 2007 I worked with the FCO’s Change Unit.

I took up my current appointment on 22 January 2008. My wife Joanne and I are the proud parents of Olivia. Outside of the office, I cycle around Manhattan, play soccer (football) and, when parenting duties allow, enjoy the cultural riches offered by New York. I try hard to understand baseball.