An assemblyman says the good and bad news for renewable energy is that Cuomo’s asking about it

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Hevesi at the Women's Club. (Elizabeth Gonzalez)
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“Let’s imagine we're all millionaires,” Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi said at the Manhattan office of the Women’s Club of New York on Friday. “Right now, even if you are a millionaire, investing in renewable technology is a bad investment.”

Hevesi had been invited to speak in his capacity as chairman of the Assembly subcommittee on renewable energy, which is a topic at the top of the club’s list of concerns, according to its vice president, Marjorie Ives.

The news he had about the city’s progress toward increased reliance on renewable energy sources was not good. Utility companies were not being given sufficient incentives to sign contracts guaranteeing purchase of renewable energy, making it a risky investment for would-be clean-energy producers. Meanwhile, the city’s energy infrastructure was falling every further out of date, creating an infrastructure traffic jam that served as a further impediment to the creation of new energy-generating sources for the city.

“There is a bottleneck from upstate power that stops and doesn't come into New York City,” said Hevesi. “And that's an infrastructure upgrade that nobody wants to pay for.”

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The small and casual meeting allowed audience members to ask questions and join in a more in-depth discussion of the issue.

One of the audience members asked about hydrofracking upstate.

Hevesi said he was personally against it, he acknowledge the economic boost it would give some of the poorer “pockets” of the state that were “literally sitting on oil.”

The assemblyman pointed out at one point that Governor Andrew Cuomo had recently made a formal request for more information on renewable energy.

“Its a good sign that he's interested in it,” Hevesi said. “Not a good sign that he doesn't know how to do it.”