New Jersey Energy Plan Boosts Conservation and Renewable Portfolio Standard

November 03, 2008

New Jersey Governor John Corzine has released the state's new energy master plan that aims to combat increasing energy demand, rising electricity prices, an outdated transmission infrastructure, and global climate change. Among other things, the plan calls for intensifying conservation and energy efficiency efforts and raising the state's renewable portfolio standard.

Corzine said that the consequences of not addressing the state's energy challenges could be dire, citing a forecast by PJM Interconnection, which operates the regional transmission system and administers regional wholesale electricity markets for a 13-state area including New Jersey. PJM said that, without action, the state could pay 96 percent more for energy in 2020 than in 2005 and contribute to global climate change that might raise the sea level along New Jersey's coast.

The plan's goals are to:

  • Maximize energy conservation and energy efficiency to achieve reductions in energy consumption of at least 20 percent by 2020
  • Reduce peak demand for electricity by 5,700 megawatts by 2020
  • Increase the current renewable portfolio standard goal from achieving 22.5 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020 to achieving 30 percent by 2020
  • Develop an energy infrastructure that accommodates increased distributed generation and shifts in peak demands, ensures reliability, and provides tools to consumers to manage their energy consumption
  • Invest in innovative, clean energy technologies and businesses to stimulate the industry's growth in New Jersey.

In developing the energy plan, the state worked with the Center for Energy, Economic, and Environmental Policy and the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University. The group performed modeling that included a "business as usual" scenario, which assumed no major changes in state policies and actions, and an "alternative scenario" which assumed implementation of actions outlined in the plan. The modeling showed how energy use, economic growth, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions would be affected under both scenarios.

"By embracing new approaches to energy, we are providing the pathway to both economic prosperity and environmental protection," Corzine said. "This plan offers aggressive policies that create an energy system that is responsible and will establish the clean energy industry as a major part of New Jersey's economy. It will strengthen New Jersey's economy by reducing consumers' overall energy expenditures, while creating jobs, improving the current energy infrastructure and meeting our environmental goals."

For more information, see the governor's October 22 press release and the energy master plan. (PDF 725 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in New Jersey, see: