environmental, green, energy

State Unveils Draft 2019 Energy Master Plan

The State of New Jersey releases the Draft 2019 Energy Master Plan (EMP),which provides an initial blueprint for the total conversion of New Jersey’s energy profile to 100 percent clean energy by 2050, as directed by Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 28. The plan defines clean energy as carbon-neutral electricity generation and maximum electrification of the transportation and building sectors to meet or exceed the Global Warming Response Act greenhouse emissions reductions of 80 percent relative to 2006 levels by 2050.

The statewide, multi-agency effort is led by New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), in collaboration with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

The EMP features a series of seven strategies that is expected to guide the state in addressing the imminent threat of climate change and to reach Governor Murphy’s 100 percent clean energy goal. The strategies include:

  • Strategy 1: Reducing Energy Consumption and Emissions from the Transportation Sector, including encouraging electric vehicle adoption, electrifying transportation systems, and leveraging technology to reduce emissions and miles traveled.
  • Strategy 2: Accelerating Deployment of Renewable Energy and Distributed Energy Resources with a Focus on Historically Underserved Populations by developing offshore wind, community solar, a successor solar incentive program, energy storage, energy efficiency, smart inverters, and non-wires solutions. It also involves opening electric distribution companies’ circuits for distributed energy resources (DER) and developing low-cost loans or financing for DER.
  • Strategy 3: Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation, and Reducing Peak Demand, including enacting 0.75 percent and 2 percent utility energy efficiency standards, expanding New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, adopting new clean energy and energy efficiency financing mechanisms, and strengthening building and energy codes and appliance standards.
  • Strategy 4: Reducing Energy Use and Emissions from the Building Sector through decarbonization and electrification, the expansion of statewide net zero carbon homes incentive programs, and the development of EV Ready and Demand Response Ready building codes.
  • Strategy 5: Modernizing the Grid and Utility Infrastructure by encouraging utilities to establish Integrated Distribution Plans and adopting non-wires solutions, modifying the current ratemaking process and piloting alternative rate design, and instructing gas utilities to prioritize the replacement of pipelines leaking methane, among other tactics.
  • Strategy 6: Supporting Community Energy Planning and Action in Underserved Communities through incentivizing local, clean power generation, prioritizing clean transportation options in these communities, and supporting municipalities in establishing community energy plans.
  • Strategy 7: Expanding the Clean Energy Innovation Economy by leveraging both the economic and environmental opportunities that clean energy provides, and proposing conducting clean energy workforce needs assessment to expanding the Clean Energy Job Training program, to exploring a New Jersey Green Bank, to establishing a WIND Institute, a Carbon-Neutral New Technology Incubator, and a Clean Buildings Hub.

“The Draft Energy Master Plan is a comprehensive roadmap toward achieving our goal of a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050,” said Governor Murphy. “The strategies set forth in this draft plan will foster economic growth by creating thousands of jobs in New Jersey’s energy, building, and transportation sectors. Today’s draft plan is a critical step forward in reducing the effects of climate change and securing our state’s clean energy future for the benefit of all New Jerseyans and for generations to come.”

“Just as we have delivered on our many other clean energy commitments, we are proud to put forth this comprehensive draft plan today, which reflects input from hundreds of stakeholders. I am confident that it will serve as a roadmap to building a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable energy future for our state to establish the lowest cost pathway to 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.

“Climate change is already impacting our way of life in New Jersey. The actions we take today will impact New Jerseyans for generations to come,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Today’s publication of the Draft Energy Master Plan is an important step forward to ensure New Jersey achieves the Governor’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. We look forward to working with NJBPU, other state agencies and all of New Jersey in this effort. Together, we can lead the nation in responding to and mitigating the impacts of climate change.”

The BPU is concurrently developing an Integrated Energy Plan that will model scenarios reflecting the Draft EMP’s strategies to identify least cost pathways to achieve clean energy by 2050. The final EMP will include this critical modeling, as well as further stakeholder input, other studies, and dates and metrics that are not yet reflected in the Draft EMP.

BPU will host public meetings to collect feedback and comments from key stakeholders on the Draft EMP. Comments are due to BPU by Sept. 16, and the meeting dates are as follows:

  • July 17 – Trenton (State House)
  • August 8 – Newark (Seton Hall)
  • September 12 – Camden (Kroc Center)

Those who are unable to attend the meetings can submit comments electronically by sending an email to emp.comments@bpu.nj.gov and using the Subject Line “2019 Draft Energy Master Plan.”

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