The future of sustainability and affordable energy | Whuff News

Officials from the energy industry, along with union, academic and non-profit leaders met on Oct. 26 at Molloy University in Rockville Center to discuss the future of energy on Long Island.

The event was the second of two conferences organized by Schneps Media with funding support from National Grid and the first held in Downtown Brooklyn. The Long Island event featured 18 thought leaders in the fields of energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy who discussed how they plan to make our energy system more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

Attendees learned about everything from solar energy and electric vehicles to job training and job creation.

“This conversation could not be happening at a better time. “As we speak, the New York Climate Action Council is finalizing an Action Plan to meet the clean energy goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA),” said National Grid New York President Rudy Wynter.

Rudy Wynter, President, New York National Grid.

Wynter noted that the CLCPA sets some of the most ambitious climate goals in the world, requiring New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050.

“It will be a challenge to meet these goals, but we must rise to the challenge. Climate change is a threat to us all, and it is imperative that we take drastic action now to address it head on. “National Grid is committed to working with our partners in Albany, Long Island, and communities across the state to meet New York’s climate mitigation goals,” said Wynter.

The event was broken into two panel discussions, with the first focusing on the future of energy on Long Island.

Panelists included Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, Northwell Chief Health Officer Donna Drummond, Long Island Power Authority CEO Thomas Falcone, Evolve Hydrogen founder and CEO Brian Gilman, Empower Solar founder and CEO David Schieren, Energy Vice President of Business Development. Chris Voell, Don Chahbazpour, director, policy and management strategy – The Future of Energy on the National Grid, and Tristan Brown, associate professor of energy resource economics at the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry.

From left to right are Eric Alexander, Donna Drummond, David Schieren, Thomas Falcone, Don Chahbazpour, Chris Voell, Brian Gilman, Tristan Brown, Joshua Schneps

Alexander said local Long Island businesses and homeowners are facing tough times when it comes to regulatory changes both to produce green energy and the costs involved.

“People are coming out of an epidemic where for two or three years government laws make some people poor, some businesses go bankrupt and it’s a difficult time. And you know, there are climate change deniers and it’s wrong. There are also those who deny inflation. There are people who say that costs are not increasing. Costs are up and it’s undeniable, businesses have heard it. And I think the residents heard it. “That’s what we hear from the local community we work in,” said Alexander.

So while we all want a clean energy future, we need to do a better job of cleaning up the present. We need to do a better job of communicating. Second, we need to do a better job of lowering prices. And then number three, we have to really work with people where they are and that means getting more funding out there. And there is a real opportunity at the federal level to do that,” he added.

Chahbazpour said that the price of traditional energy has increased in the past year, but he cautioned against thinking that the increase in the price of products is good for decarbonization.

“Let’s look at Long Island for a moment. We are now living in a global energy crisis and it is not like the 70s. It’s not an oil problem. It is oil, gas, coal, lithium and all other minerals. “Ukraine has made it worse,” Chahbazpour said.

“So what does that mean on Long Island? You know, people have this debate on Long Island, that if commodity prices go up, that’s good for decarbonization. Because that means you’re getting rid of fossil fuels faster. And the energy industry actually encourages the opposite. But I think Europe is now kind of exhibit A, where we really see the impact of high prices and energy prices. Costs are rising and so are emissions. Coal was coming back from Europe, unfortunately. But there is also a lack of investment in renewables, because when energy costs rise, most of them are feedstocks to make all the renewable sources we need. So at least on Long Island, you can relax that high energy prices are not good for decarbonization,” he said.

The second panel was titled, How do we get there? Challenges and Opportunities.

The group included Hempstead city representatives, New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe, D&F Development Director Peter Florey, Molloy University Executive Director Neal Lewis, Neighborhood and Housing Development Executive Director of Engineering Pradeep Kileti, and Pat Guidice, International Brotherhood of Business Manager of Electrical Workers, Local 1049.

From left to right are Patrick Guidice, Barika Williams, Tara Schneider-Moran, Anthony D’Esposito, Peter Florey, Neal Lewis, Julie Tighe, Pradheep Kileti, Joshua Schneps.

Guidice said Long Island has historically had high energy costs, and as the Island moves to a new energy portfolio, it needs to maintain a laser-like focus on creating energy distribution and generating affordable and 100 percent reliable energy. It should also save jobs in the energy sector.

“Electricity generation has long been creating jobs. Large power plants must be operated and maintained. Offshore wind will create skilled, high-paying jobs. I hope that hydrogen brought to energy consumers will provide good paying jobs for the same workers here who work in natural gas and at the same time allow energy users to have access to new technologies,” said Patrick Guidice.

Kileti noted that many homes on Long Island are over 50 or 60 years old.

“We have to make sure that we are using the power effectively and that our staff has come forward. We are moving from centralized energy to decentralized energy. Solving together is very important,” said Kileti.

Bryan Grimaldi, New York National Grid’s Vice President of Business Affairs concluded that it was good for Schneps to put together the conference, bring different ideas to the Long Island community, and have an honest conversation about pragmatic and affordable solutions. consumers while trying to solve climate change.

“Affordability is key, but it doesn’t have to be the only pragmatic solution. “The National Grid’s fossil fuel vision plan meets or exceeds the government’s carbon reduction goals,” Grimaldi said.

Josh Schneps, CEO of Schneps Media, confirmed those thoughts. “We were privileged to be able to bring together a diverse group of people who play an important role in the energy industry to have a conversation about where things are going, what is needed and what the opportunities are,” he said.

The Long Island Power Conference was hosted by Schneps Events, a division of Schneps Media, the parent company of the Long Island Press. For more information, visit

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