New Jersey Plan Reduces Renewable Energy Mandates from Jon Corzine's 30% to 22.4%

Natural gas, nuclear get bigger role in energy master plan


New Jersey will depend less on solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy sources than originally proposed as Governor Christie approved a plan Tuesday that calls for increased reliance on natural gas and nuclear energy.

The final energy master plan calls for 22.4 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, down from 30 percent under a 2008 plan by former Gov. Jon Corzine. But Christie said he still supports incentives to increase the amount of energy supplied by solar over the next three years.

Christie wants 70 percent of the state's electric use to come from "clean" sources by 2050 and has said that category has to include nuclear, natural gas and hydroelectric facilities.

Environmental advocates said none are clean energy sources.

"I don't think there is anything clean about radioactive waste," said Matt Elliot, of the advocacy group Environment New Jersey.

"And when you look at natural gas, it's not that much cleaner than coal with drilling and building pipelines through pristine areas. Lumping those two together with wind and solar is troubling."

The master plan advocates the development of a new nuclear facility, especially since it rules out new coal-fired plants as too polluting. One of the state's current nuclear facilities, Oyster Creek in Ocean County, is supposed to close in 2019.

Public Service Enterprise Group, parent company of PSE&G, has wanted to build a fourth nuclear reactor at its Salem County facility, but in a footnote of the master plan, Christie suggests that he might prefer another facility at Oyster Creek, because the area has a highly skilled workforce, local support and an existing electrical transmission infrastructure.

The plan says that a state panel will be created to "assess how or whether nuclear energy will play a role" in New Jersey's future in-state energy generation.

The final version of the master plan remains largely unchanged from a draft released in June, even after the administration held three public hearings with more than 400 people participating. The Board of Public Utilities received verbal and written comments from more than 300 associations, companies and individuals.

The plan shifts the focus of solar incentives from residential customers and toward large commercial or municipal projects. Christie argues that such projects should take priority because they reduce energy costs for businesses and local governments and provide revenue for job creation and tax reduction.

Advocates, however, say residential solar units can alleviate demand for power and reduce overall energy costs.

Christie's plan cautions that while solar power is a laudable goal, it is far more costly than other energy sources. The plan estimates that the cost of solar is $210 per megawatt-hour, compared with $114 for advanced nuclear, $95 for conventional coal and $86 for hydro. Solar advocates, said at a hearing last summer that Christie's plan uses outdated and inflated figures when calculating solar energy costs.

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Comment by alice mckay barnett on December 8, 2011 at 12:44pm

on-site solar is independant of the GRID.

Let us hope they do not tax our on-site power.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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