The current population of the state of New Jersey is estimated to be 9.06 million people. In October 2018, the state utilities used fossil fuels (59.9%), nuclear power (36.5%) and renewable energy (3.5%) to generate electricity. Natural gas was the primary source of fossil fuel and solar energy was the primary source of renewable energy.
New Jersey is currently dependent on fossil fuels for power. However the state is now committed on dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In May 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed several legislative initiatives to lay the groundwork for a clean energy economy. The legislation requires electric utilities in the state to use 21% renewable energy by 2020, 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. The legislation also establishes a goal of developing offshore wind farms with total capacity of 3,500 MW by 2030.
New Jersey has taken another innovative step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by implementing a state wide community solar program. The program allows residents and businesses buy power from these solar arrays on a subscription basis. New Jersey’s community solar program will dedicate 40% of the program’s capacity for low-income customers.
I have been impressed with Governor Phil Murphy’s renewable energy programs. He has implemented state tax credits for major renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind farms. Governor Murphy has streamed lined the state bureaucracy to fast track approvals for new renewable energy projects and programs. If America is going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must seek to find cost effective and practical programs, like New Jersey’s.
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