NYSERDA seeks European and global solutions to decarbonise buildings


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking to leverage energy efficiency and clean energy solutions developed by European and global companies to decarbonise its high-rise buildings.

NYSERDA has partnered with the International Cleantech Network, a network of cleantech clusters designed to generate new business opportunities, enhance competitive advantages and create value for global companies, and the EU Techbridge, a project matching innovative European SMEs with North American based end-users.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the three parties aims to identify solutions that would help to overcome critical barriers to decarbonising high-rise buildings and stimulate investment in New York State’s clean energy economy. The three parties will be partnering under NYSERDA’s $50 million Empire Building Challenge which is expected to use $250 million in investments from the private sector.

The collaboration will enable knowledge sharing, matchmaking and investment from leading cleantech providers in the European Union, Africa, North America, and South America to New York.

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The three parties will focus on:

  • Identifying concrete solutions and knowledge sharing to support the transition to more energy-efficient buildings in New York;
  • Mobilizing ICN and EU Techbridge’s strong clean technology network and encouraging investment and job creation in New York; and
  • Providing a forum for exchange on new approaches and solutions within energy efficiency, climate adaptation, and resiliency to foster best practices.  

The project will help New York to achieve its goal of reaching carbon-neutrality in buildings by 2035 and the state governor’s clean energy goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050.

The partnership comes at a time New York is facing various challenges to decarbonising its buildings including tenant disruptions, upfront costs for renovations, and the sheer size and scale of high-rise buildings. And as such by addressing innovation gaps and enhancing collaboration with the private sector, the Empire Building Challenge seeks to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions in the state.

NYSERDA and utilities have set aside over $6.8 billion to enhance energy efficiency in buildings, the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Improving energy efficiency in buildings and including onsite storage, renewables, and electric vehicle charging equipment, the State will reduce carbon pollution and achieve the ambitious target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs by 2025, the equivalent of powering 1.8 million homes. Energy efficiency accounts for 75% of the clean energy jobs across New York, and the state’s ambitious plan to reduce carbon pollution will result in an additional $1.8 billion in societal and environmental benefits.

Mike Mulcahy, Chair of the ICN and CEO of GreenCape in Cape Town said: “The ICN represents 16,000 GreenTech companies from 4 continents. The partnership with NYSERDA provides a tangible opportunity for global cooperation and learning in support of a greener future. The work done through this project will unearth new solutions for the buildings and create the context for international partnerships.”