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To power NYC in an era of climate change, look to nuclear

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Sunday is the end of Climate Week, which is why many are focusing more than usual on the damage climate change is causing in the New York region.

Unfortunately, in its woefully incomplete, overly ideological steps to modernize New York’s energy mix to limit the greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming, the state is asking for more trouble.

The state intends that, by 2040, no greenhouse gases will be emitted in generating electricity. Oil- and natural-gas-burning electric power plants will be replaced by renewable wind and solar energy installations.

But can wind and solar really be relied upon to keep the lights on in New York City? The short answer is no.

In the state’s vision of our decarbonized future, the largest source of electricity, by far, will be offshore wind — thousands of turbines placed on the ocean floor south of Long Island.

New York’s electric system is a “tale of two grids.” One is upstate, based on water power on the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers, nuclear plants on Lake Ontario, and solar and wind across the area. Downstate, with little open space, we depend mostly on fossil fuel plants on the East River and in the Lower Hudson Valley.

The Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County was supplying a quarter of the downstate region’s electricity and nearly all its clean, carbon-free power, but this past April, responding to........

© NY Daily News

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