New Jersey accelerates clean energy agenda

New Jersey accelerates clean energy agenda

2023-02-17T12:08:29-05:00February 17th, 2023|Economy, Government, Infrastructure, North & Central Jersey, South Jersey|

Writer: Ryan Gandolfo

2 min read February 2023 — New Jersey is accelerating towards a greener future as Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration adopted new measures to bolster the state’s climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. 

On Wednesday, the governor adopted new executive orders to reach 100% clean energy by 2035 and a target to install zero-carbon-emission space heating and cooling systems in 400,000 homes and 20,000 commercial buildings by 2030. The state defines the clean energy target as 100% of the electricity sold in the state coming from clean sources of energy.

“This accelerated new goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 bumps up the timeline for achieving a clean energy transition by 15 years and takes a significant and needed step to meet the urgency of the climate crisis,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, director of New Jersey Sierra Club in a press release.

In addition to the executive orders, the administration is in the process of adopting the Advanced Clean Cars II program — requiring new cars and light-duty truck sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Other measures include lowering consumer costs for EV adoption through the allocation of $70 million in unobligated Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction proceeds.

In August 2022, new legislation, called the New Jersey Clean Energy Act of 2023, was introduced to establish 100% clean electricity standard — however, the bill and Gov. Murphy’s latest announcement have received pushback from the business community. According to WHYY, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association referred to the EV sales requirement target as “impractical, if not impossible, when you consider the lack of charging infrastructure and planning for it.”

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows natural gas and nuclear energy accounted for 90% of the state’s total electricity production in 2021 white renewables made up about 8% of New Jersey’s electricity generation.

So far, 11 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have passed a new clean energy law, requiring a transition to 100% carbon-free or renewable electricity, as cited by Inside Climate News. Target years range from 2032 to 2050.

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