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Accelerating the Transition

From Natural Gas to a Low-Carbon Future: Leading a Phased and Just Transition Off Fossil Fuels

New York is working to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 as envisioned by the Climate Act Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

To achieve New York’s climate goals, we’re working to move away from our reliance on natural gas – a fossil fuel that contributes to climate change – to heat homes and businesses, generate electricity, and power industrial processes. Methane – a greenhouse gas with significant global warming potential – is emitted during the production, processing, storage, transmission, and distribution of natural gas.

The transition from natural gas to energy sources that produce low levels of greenhouse gas emissions, such as wind and solar, may be one of the most challenging pieces of New York’s efforts to decarbonize. As we increase our renewable energy resources, New York must also reduce energy demand by scaling up energy efficiency and electrification for heating. In certain hard-to-electrify sectors, we’re pursuing research and development to prove and deploy deep decarbonization innovations to replace natural gas with alternatives with lower climate impact, such as green hydrogen and renewable natural gas.

This shift to a greener power grid and economy will bring new economic opportunities, and it’s essential that displaced fossil fuel workers receive training and support to participate in the clean energy transition.

How We’re Advancing Decarbonization for a Sustainable Future

Implementing a phased and just transition from natural gas requires creating inclusive opportunities to participate in and benefit from New York’s climate mitigation efforts and clean energy future. It also means ensuring a good quality of life for all New Yorkers by prioritizing safety, equity, reliability, and affordability as we move towards a decarbonized economy.

NYSERDA is building market and workforce capacity, expanding product availability, and driving cost reduction for electrification and clean energy alternatives to replace natural gas.

NYSERDA’s key strategies include:

Achieving a Just Transition Off Natural Gas

A carbon-neutral economy will create healthier communities and economic opportunities across the state. New York’s electric grid will be zero-emission by 2040, improving local air quality and delivering reliable clean energy through an extensive network of wind, solar, hydro power, and energy storage. Residents and businesses will continue receiving support to adopt clean energy technologies, such as heat pumps, to promote affordable electrification while phasing out the use of natural gas.

Many New York buildings will electrify their heating and cooling through community heat pump systems and thermal energy networks. These scalable systems connect multiple buildings into a shared thermal network, which can leverage multiple sources of heat, such as geothermal energy and waste heat from industrial processes or electricity generation. The development of thermal networks will create quality jobs in New York’s growing decarbonization sector, especially for those workers displaced in the transition to clean energy.

Key Programs and Initiatives

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