The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

New Jersey Needs to Keep its Solar Leadership

The state of New Jersey, my adopted home, is known for a lot of things: bad reality TV shows, high taxes and most EPA Superfund sites per square mile, to name a few.

However, New Jersey also has an outstanding record in the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity, the fastest growing alternative energy source in the U.S. – and most people don’t know about it.  Today, despite being such a small state, New Jersey has more solar power generating capacity than any other state besides California. 

In 1999, New Jersey’s state legislature passed a bill calling for a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Since then, largely through the work of electrical engineer-turned politician Upendra Chivukula and other state legislators, the laws have been strengthened and created the market-based solar energy production incentive known as SREC’s in 2004-2005. SREC’s are now being used in at least seven other states to boost solar development. However, New Jersey still maintains the most attractive market for deployment of solar energy in the country because of the ambitious RPS and commands the highest SREC prices in the country. 

It’s estimated that over 3,000 jobs have been created in the state by the solar industry – and job growth will be 27% this year.  There are now more solar jobs in New Jersey than in traditional power generation. 

With a sputtering economy and high unemployment, it would seem that the continued expansion of the solar industry in New Jersey is not only good environmentally, but also critical to the economic recovery. 

Unfortunately, some uncertainty has entered the marketplace because our current governor is in the process of “revisiting” the state’s Energy Master Plan.  This document lays out the strategy for providing energy in the state over the next two decades, including the RPS mandate, and is undoubtedly what caused many entrepreneurs to enter the solar business, as well as many customers to invest in solar power systems.  Any significant reductions in the RPS would create disarray in the marketplace and certainly undo the momentum in the industry.

Governor Christie, who took office only a year ago, is expected to announce his proposed revisions to the Energy Master Plan soon.  It’ll be interesting to see if he continues the New Jersey legacy of leading the way in fostering solar power or reverses course and lets another state take the mantle. 

I certainly hope that for the sake of our environment and our economy, we don’t reverse course and lose the momentum we have built up. Nothing kills a market like uncertainty and instability.  If we can stay the course and show ratepayers and solar businesses the state is serious about creating a stable market, we’ll be able to retain our lead. Let’s hope the Governor does the right thing.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Welspun Commissions 52-MW Solar Power Plant in India

Vince Font Leading Indian solar developer Welspun Renewables has commissioned the construction of a massive solar plant in the state of Maharashtra. The planned 52-megawatt (MW) solar plant will be located in the city of Baramati. The...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...

SkyPower Inks $2.2 Billion Deal for Massive Solar Power Plant in Kenya

Eric Ombok, Bloomberg Kenya’s Energy Ministry and SkyPower Global Ltd. will sign a $2.2 billion agreement on Sunday that paves the way for the Canadian company to develop a 1-gigawatt solar project in East Africa’s biggest economy. The solar pro...

Making a Match: How Solar Companies and Banks Hook Up

Jennifer Runyon The announcements are fairly frequent: SunPower Partners with Admirals Bank for $200 Million Solar Loan Program, Deutsche Bank to Lend $1 Billion for Japanese Solar Projects, Financing Partnerships Drive North Carolina's So...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Presenting at Infocast's Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015

Oct. 21, 2015 4:30-5:15pm Albie Fong, National Director, Solar Frontier ...

Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015

Oct. 21, 2015 4:30-5:15pm Albie Fong, National Director, Solar Frontier ...

5th Annual Hydro Plant Maintenance

Join maintenance professionals to discuss the challenges in maintenance ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Behind Every Good Decision

When something about your business isn’t working, you set out to c...

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

An Overwhelming Paradox

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with the feeling of being o...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS