New Jersey Increases its Renewable Energy Requirement
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved new regulations on April 12th that will require the state's electric utilities to draw on wind power, solar power, and sustainable biomass power for 20 percent of their electricity by 2020. Previously, the BPU required utilities to draw on renewable energy sources for 4 percent of their power supply by 2008. That older requirement had ratcheted up to 3.5 percent renewable energy this year, but starting in June, utilities will have to meet an accelerated schedule geared toward the 2020 goal. The new regulations also require solar photovoltaic power to provide 2 percent of the state's electricity needs by 2020, requiring the installation of 1,500 megawatts of solar electric power. On a per capita basis, that's the largest solar requirement in the United States, cementing New Jersey's status as a solar power leader. New Jersey is already one of the fastest growing solar markets in the country, having grown from six solar power installations in 2001 to more than 1,200 installations today. See the BPU press release.