Energy Exchange

New Jersey’s considering a nuclear bailout. Here’s why we don’t need it.

BLOG UPDATE – DECEMBER 20, 2017

PSEG’s bill aimed at subsidizing its two aging nuclear power plants was passed out of New Jersey’s Senate Environment and Energy Committee and Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee today, December 20. If enacted, this customer-funded bailout would require all New Jersey electric customers to pay $300 million for an unlimited number of years to keep the plants in operation, adding an extra $40 a year to each customer’s electric bill.

The availability of low-carbon energy and local jobs are both legitimate reasons to be concerned about the premature retirement of New Jersey’s nuclear plants, but a customer-funded bailout is not the answer. A time-bounded zero-emissions credit, tailored to worker protections, community considerations, and a commitment to accelerate the adoption of clean energy should have been considered. Though PSEG admits these plants are profitable, the utility giant still hasn’t provided any documentation or analysis to show these facilities are in need of financial assistance.

December 12, 2017  The New Jersey State legislature is entertaining a lame duck proposal by the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), the parent company of New Jersey's largest utility, Public Service Gas & Electric (PSE&G) to subsidize two PSEG nuclear plants and to have it paid for by New Jersey electricity customers – in other words, a customer-funded bailout.

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Posted in Clean Energy, New Jersey, Utility Business Models / Read 2 Responses

Here’s how New Jersey can capitalize on its best clean energy investment opportunities

Governor-elect Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda has the potential to be a game-changer for New Jersey. His influence can position the state to regain its leadership in the fight against climate change, and create a clean energy economy that will lead to more jobs, and improve the health and well-being of all New Jerseyans.

To capitalize on this opportunity and achieve the state’s goals of clean, resilient, and affordable energy and transportation systems, we need to build on the progress we’ve made with new policies and programs that will allow the adoption of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, and clean transportation infrastructure at scale.

With New Jersey’s many competing investment needs, how will we pay for a much needed clean energy transformation? Public funds, whether from tax payers or utility customers, are not enough. EDF’s latest report, Financing New Jersey's Clean Energy Economy: Pathways for Leadership, analyzes three innovative financial approaches that leverage public resources to catalyze private investment in these technologies. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing / Read 1 Response

New Jersey’s new governor campaigned on a robust clean energy plan. Let’s get started.

The election of Phil Murphy as New Jersey’s next governor represents an opportunity for the state to adopt technologies that will make our electric grid more efficient and permit the integration of large amounts of renewable energy, as well as provide customers with the ability to better manage their energy use and save money.

The Governor-elect’s agenda includes a robust clean energy plan, including goals to power 1.5 million homes with offshore wind by 2030; add 600 MW of energy storage by 2021, and 2000 MW by 2030; and to increase energy-efficiency investment.

Governor-elect Murphy is well-positioned to achieve his goals, as New Jersey is abuzz with clean energy activity from both the public and private sectors. Here’s a sampling. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Grid Modernization, New Jersey / Comments are closed

Boost Investor Confidence and Watch America's Energy Market Transform

modernoffice_387x235A recent decision by New Jersey utility regulators to standardize energy efficiency procedures for commercial buildings could have a major impact – not just on the Garden State – but on energy markets nationwide.

The reason: It gives investors more confidence in performance and returns which is exactly what can fuel a big push to make buildings across the United States more efficient. It might eventually transform our energy efficiency market into an economic power house. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Investor Confidence Project / Read 2 Responses

New Jersey Accelerates Energy Efficiency Adoption with this New Pilot Project

Newark,_New_Jersey_at_nightThe large-scale adoption of energy efficiency in buildings is a key to achieving a cleaner environment, lower utility bills, and more comfort for customers. But increasing private capital investment in the energy efficiency market has been a big challenge.

Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) addresses one specific barrier to more energy efficiency investment: the lack of trust investors and building owners have in projected energy and cost savings. ICP offers protocols that define industry best practices for energy efficiency project development and a credentialing system that provides third-party validation.

By standardizing the process by which energy efficiency projects are developed and measured – and creating a new Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ asset class as an end result – investors can more easily finance energy efficiency projects and have more confidence in the energy and financial savings expected from these projects.

While many states have made great strides promoting the policies and incentives to spur private investment in energy efficiency projects, my home state of New Jersey is getting serious about it.

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Posted in Energy Efficiency, Investor Confidence Project, New Jersey / Comments are closed

New Jersey Should Leverage Private Capital to Achieve Resilient Energy Goals

seal-40853_640Since Hurricane Sandy exposed the vulnerability of New Jersey’s antiquated power grid, the state has been investing heavily in enhancing the grid’s resilience and promoting clean energy technologies to upgrade to a smarter, more flexible system that can keep people safe and warm when they need it most.

However, as I explain in my NJ Spotlight op-ed published today, limited public funds alone will not be enough to build the state’s clean energy future.

Private capital investment is key to establishing the large-scale, clean energy markets needed to ultimately save customers money, increase grid resiliency, and slash harmful pollution.

New Jersey has already made a step in the right direction with the launch of the Energy Resilience Bank, which was set up with $210 million of federal funds to finance resilient energy systems operating the state’s critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing, New Jersey / Comments are closed