New York Could be a Global Leader in Alternative Energy


The Syracuse Post-Standard reports:

The shrub willow, which can be burned to make steam and electricity or fermented to make ethanol, or both, is just one of the renewable, homegrown sources of energy under development in Upstate New York. Fertilized by government incentives and by the need to kick the oil and gas habit, alternative fuel projects are sprouting all over region.

The willow’s emergence as a potential energy source is the result of two decades of research at the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.
Wood is not the only fuel on the rise in Central New York. There are ventures under way to make ethanol from corn, biodiesel from soybeans and methane from coal, to name few. Some local leaders say Central New York could become a hub for alternative energy.

New York City, according to a recent CUNY study, has the potential to emerge as a major solar power player by the middle of the next decade "if the city, state and
federal government work to find new sources of funding and incentives
and remove barriers."
The study estimates that by 2030 New York City could satisfy more than 10 percent of its energy needs with solar power. 

Photo: the headquarters for the Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, construction starts this year in downtown Syracuse.

  • Notice the picture of the Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Even though it is in downtown Syracuse, it is set back behind big empty lawns and has nothing at ground level – like a textbook example of how NOT to create a walkable neighborhood.

  • P

    But it’s surrounded by grass!!!

    To be fair it could just be architectural ego that excludes from the rendering anything not planned by the designer.

  • It always seems strange to me when I see images like that. Wouldn’t you want to play up the strength of how your architecture plays with its surroundings? If your architecture clashes horribly with what’s already there and isn’t being removed, then your design has a problem. If it doesn’t, wouldn’t you want to play that up?

    Buildings pictured in a void should be returned to the architecture with a note, “Please return when your design is complete.”

    But I’m not an architect or planner, so what do I know.

  • Modernist architects think about designing sculptural objects, not about designing places. That is why they want their buildings to be viewed in isolation – to show off the building as a sculpture or icon.

    At least, they should surround it with switchgrass, which could be used to produce ethanol, which could be used to power the cars that people drive because they didn’t create a walkable neighborhood here.

  • Ken

    Interesting post because Sustainlane just rated NYC as a runner up in a feature called “Top US Cities for Cleantech.”

    check out-
    http://www.sustainlane.us/articles/cleantech.jsp
    http://karlenzig.typepad.com/karlenzig/2007/02/sustainlane_gov.html

  • 1. is totally right, in a downtown urban environment they built a huge lawn, which will need plenty of 1.) mowing, and 2.) watering and 3.) petroleum based fertilizers. Not to mention the complete lack of use in winter because winds really howl in winter there – I graduated SU 93-94 – its damn colder than buffalo.

    Lets add on top of that what a shitty insulator glass is, lots of AC required in the summer and lots of heat required in the winter.

    Most architecture and civil projects are ego driven – this thing makes a mockery of the org’s mission.

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