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New Jersey’s Clean Energy Picture

New Jersey is advancing and diversifying its clean energy portfolio through leadership and strong policy. New Jersey has one of the most ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standards in the country by requiring 35% of the energy sold in the state come from qualifying energy sources by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Promoting a diverse portfolio of new clean in-state generation will lessen dependence on fossil fules, help grow the state’s economy, reduce emissions and combat climate change.

New Jersey’s Policy Timeline

 

 

Electric Discount & Energy Competition Act

The Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (January 1999) established New Jersey’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Societal Benefits Charge . Today, New Jersey’s Renewable Portfolio Standards has become one of the most aggressive in the United States, requiring that each electricity supplier serving retail customers in the state procure 35% the electricity it sells in New Jersey from qualified renewable energy resources by 2025 and 50% by 2030. New Jersey established the Renewable Portfolio Standard to drive the market deployment of new clean energy technologies, recognizing that expansion of renewable energy generation would provide significant economic development and environmental benefits, thereby helping to satisfy New Jersey’s air quality and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

 

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

On January 29, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 7 directing the Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Public Utilities to take all necessary regulatory and administrative measures to ensure New Jersey’s timely return to full participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). To learn more about RGGI click here.

 

Global Warming Response Act

The Global Warming Response Act at N.J.S.A. 26:2C-37, calls for a reduction of statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050, a total of 25.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e). It requires the Department of Environmental Protection to establish a greenhouse gas inventory and continue to monitor and report Statewide emissions. According to the latest greenhouse gas emissions estimate (2015), statewide releases were a little over 100 MMT CO2e, with close to 90% coming from the combustion of fossil fuels to satisfy energy demand and transportation.

 

Offshore Wind

In August 2010, the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act was signed into law. The Act advised the Board of Public Utilities to establish a program for Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates to incentivize the development of offshore wind facilities.

January 31st, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy Signed Executive Order 8 which directs all New Jersey state agencies with responsibilities under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to fully implement the act in order to meet a goal of obtaining 3,500 MW from offshore wind by the year 2030. 

 

2019 Energy Master Plan

On May 23, 2018, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 28 directing the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to spearhead the Energy Master Plan Committee that will develop and deliver the new Energy Master Plan by June 1, 2019. As part of a new vision for a sustainable future, the new Energy Master Plan will reflect new goals for the state:

  • Putting New Jersey on a path to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050
  • Growing New Jersey’s clean energy economy
  • Ensuring reliability and affordability for all customers
  • Reducing the state’s carbon footprint
  • Advancing new technologies for all New Jersey residents

To learn more about the 2019 Energy Master Plan visit https://www.nj.gov/emp/
To learn more about previous Energy Master Plans visit https://www.nj.gov/emp/archives/

 

The Solar Act

The Solar Act of 2012 P.L. 2012, c.24 amends certain aspects of the statute that governs the generation, interconnection and financing of renewable energy and mandated that 4.1% of electricity sales must come from solar by 2028. The Solar Act requires the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to conduct proceedings to establish new standards and to develop new programs to implement the Act’s overall goals to stabilize the Solar Renewable Energy Credits market and continue growth in the solar industry. Updated by the Clean Energy Act (see below) the solar Renewable Portfolio Standard is now 5.1% by 2021.

 

Paris Climate Accord

On February 21, 2018, Governor Murphy signed P.L. 2018, c.3, requiring New Jersey to join the US Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of US states committed to uphold the United Nations’ Paris Climate Accord despite the federal government’s decision to withdrawal. 

 

Clean Energy Act

On May 23, 2018 Governor Murphy signed the Clean Energy Act P.L.2018, c.17. The Clean Energy Act takes several critical steps to improve and expand New Jersey’s renewable energy programs. Changes include;

  • Renewable Portfolio Standard: Establishes one of the most ambitious in the country by requiring 35% of the energy sold in the state come from qualifying energy sources by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

  • Solar: Accelerates the solar RPS to 5.1% by 2021 and establishes a Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.

  • Offshore Wind: Codifies the Governor’s goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030 and reinstates an expired program to provide tax credits for offshore wind manufacturing activities.

  • Energy Efficiency: Requires each utility to implement energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity usage by 2% and natural gas usage by 0.75%.

  • Energy Storage: Codifies the Governor’s goal of achieving 600 MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2,000 MW by 2030.

 

New Jersey’s Electricity Generation and the Role of Renewables

New Jersey is a national leader in reducing emissions from the electric power sector. From 2011 to 2016, New Jersey achieved a 26% reduction in CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel for electricity generation, while decreasing its reliance on coal by almost 70%.  New Jersey’s in-state electricity generation is among the cleanest in the nation. In 2017, New Jersey’s CO2 emissions rate was 492 lb/MWh, which is significantly lower than the PJM system average of 948 lb/MWh.


 

Our quality of life and economy depend on the availability of large amounts of energy, most of which comes from the combustion of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels include coal, natural gas and a variety of liquid fuels, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil, that are derived from petroleum. We use considerable amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel for transportation; we use heating oil and natural gas for heating our buildings, and we use electricity in a variety of ways, including manufacturing, heating and cooling, lighting and in communications. A significant portion of electricity is generated by the combustion of fossil fuels, mostly natural gas. Fossil fuels are not renewable, which means that at some point they will become depleted and increasingly costly. In addition, combustion of fossil fuels releases air pollutants, including ozone precursors such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs); acid rain precursors including NOx and sulfur dioxide (SO2); various toxins such as mercury; and carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.

Unlike fossil fuel combustion, renewable energy sources provide energy with much lower overall emissions resulting in positive environmental and public health benefits. Promoting a diverse portfolio of new clean in-state generation will lessen dependence on imported fuels, protect the state’s environment, help grow the state’s economy and lower energy costs. 

New Jersey Electricity Generation by Fuel Type

Other includes non-biogenic municipal solid waste, batteries, hydrogen, purchased steam, sulfur, tire-derived fuel, and other miscellaneous energy sources.
Natural gas includes Other Gas, such as blast furnace gas and other manufactured and waste gases derived from fossil fuels.
Petroleum includes Petroleum Liquids and Petroleum Coke. Petroleum Liquids includes distillate and residual fuel oils, jet fuel, kerosene, waste oil, and beginning in 2011, propane. Petroleum Coke includes petroleum coke-derived synthesis gas.
Coal includes anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous, lignite, and waste coal; synthetic coal and refined coal; and beginning in 2011, coal-derived synthesis gas.
Renewable Sources include wood, black liquor, other wood waste, biogenic municipal solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste, agriculture byproducts, other biomass, geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic energy, and wind.
Small-scale solar PV installations is defined by EIA as having a capacity of less than 1 megawatt.

 

 

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Last Updated: April 23, 2019