| NEW YORK, June 1
NEW YORK, June 1 Shifting more U.S. energy
production to renewable sources such as wind and solar power is
doable but will require greater use of natural gas and
overcoming opposition to building pipelines, a senior executive
of a U.S. utility said on Thursday.
Consolidated Edison Inc no longer defaults to the
traditional utility solution of building more infrastructure to
meet growing demand for power, said Craig Ivey, president of the
company unit serving New York City and nearby suburbs.
Con Edison believes in clean, low-carbon energy, but a
balance must be found to satisfy environmental goals, he told an
audience of New York real estate brokers.
Boosting the production of wind, solar and other alternative
sources to meet a goal of generating half of New York's energy
needs by 2030 cannot be done without natural gas, Ivey said.
"It is simply not possible to provide all the energy we need
for our residents and businesses with wind, solar, battery
storage and other alternative methods," Ivey said in a speech to
the Real Estate Board of New York.
Con Edison would need tens of billions of dollars in
transmission and distribution system upgrades beyond the levels
needed to meet the state's Clean Energy Standard, Ivey said.
The company has reduced its carbon footprint since 2005 by
48 percent and in the past six years, 6,600 large buildings in
New York City have converted to natural gas.
A debate has simmered in New York and New England about
whether more pipelines are needed to enable natural gas to be
the bridge fuel from coal and oil-fired power plants to cleaner
renewable sources like wind and solar.
Environmentalists and New York state have taken the position
that new pipelines, like Williams Cos Inc's proposed
Constitution gas pipe from Pennsylvania to New York, are not
needed. They would invest more in renewables and energy
The gas industry argues that more plants are needed to
replace retiring coal and nuclear plants, such as Indian Point
just north of New York City, before more wind and solar projects
can be built. Indian Point will close in 2020 and 2021.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Scott
DiSavino; Editing by Daniel Bases and Peter Cooney)