State energy policy–like smart phones and smart meters–just got interactive.
On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held the first of a series of three scheduled hearings on his proposed 2011 Energy Master Plan for the state. The plan outlines the state’s goal of reaching 70% “clean”-sourced electricity by 2050. It is a goal that is achievable, according to the report, if “the definition of clean energy is broadened beyond renewables to include nuclear, natural gas, and hydroelectric facilities.”
“At the same time, coal is a major source of CO2 emissions and will no longer be accepted as a new source of power in the State,” the report says. Read more on New Jersey’s spurning of coal fired power here.
Forty-five people registered to speak at today’s hearing, extended to 7PM from the scheduled 5pm end time in order to allow for everyone to speak, according to Director of Communications for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Greg Reinert. The event began at 1PM and was hosted at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Reinert told Breaking Energy that the date for release of the final Energy Master Plan will depend on the volume of relevant comments.
No Easy Options
“Over the past year, global events have reminded the world that there are no easy options on the subjects of our dependence on oil, nuclear power, and the mining of coal,” the draft of the plan says. “The pros and cons of both supply-side and demand-side resource options must be examined as New Jersey develops a diverse and cost-effective portfolio of energy technologies that meet the State’s economic, environmental and reliability objectives.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, Reinert said, some of the valuable comments included feedback on the solar photovoltaic industry, the figures for which–because of tremendous growth rates in the last six months–may have been inaccurate in the initial version of the report.
New Jersey has been a significant market for solar panels in recent months with a total of 10,000 installations that generate 380 MW of power. In June, the state installed a record of 520 solar projects, which added 40 MW of solar capacity to the grid.
For a detailed explanation of New Jersey’s solar renewable energy credits, see Fundamentals At The Fore In Solar Credits Trade.
“Solar energy–along with clean, in-state power generation from offshore wind, natural gas and
nuclear, and new technologies such as alternatively fueled vehicles–is a key component of a greener, more affordable vision for New Jersey’s energy future,” said NJ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin in a BPU statement.
Download the complete 141-page draft of the NJ 2011 Energy Master Plan here.