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<h1>SOLAR AND OTHER RENEWABLES</h1>
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SOLAR AND OTHER RENEWABLES

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is an essential component of a transition to a more resilient and sustainable Jersey City. Clean, non-polluting renewable energy sources like solar, off-shore wind, and geothermal can replace the burning of fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Jersey City has a commitment toward the transition to renewable energy, as part of the measurable actions to address global climate change. Mayor Steven M. Fulop signed a letter of commitment officially joining the City of Jersey City to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

Roadmaps to Renewables:

How do we get to 100% Renewables? In the spring of 2018 New Jersey’s governor signed into law the Renewable Energy Bill to commit to the transition of renewable energy: 100 percent clean energy by 2050, emphasizing a roadmap with the growth of clean energy sources like solar and offshore wind. The transition includes a 35% renewable energy supply by 2025 and 50% by 2030. This new goal is similar to the some of the leading states on the issue, like California. The clean energy legislation increases the renewable energy portfolio standard for utilities by 50% by 2030. Offshore wind facilities, to be sited near Atlantic City, are to generate roughly 3,500 MW of wind energy. The new state energy plan also included a $300 million annual subsidy to the state’s remaining nuclear power plants, which provide the state with roughly 40 percent of its electricity. Energy storage goals have been set for reaching 600 megawatts of energy storage capacity by 2021 and 2 gigawatts by 2030.

Support Renewable Energy: Choose a Clean Energy Electricity Supplier

In Jersey City, residents can select a provider for electricity that generates the energy from clean renewable energy resources. It doesn’t matter if you are a homeowner or if you are renting an apartment — if you pay for your own electric bill you can select where that electricity comes from. This is called the “supply portion” of your utility bill which under New Jersey’s energy deregulation law is separate from “the delivery” portion. The delivery portion is provided by the utility company designated for that area and cannot be selected by consumers. The companies that compete to supply your energy are called Third Party Suppliers. Choosing a Third Party Supplier will not effect the quality of the electricity you receive — it is all added to the same regional grid we all use. The costs of the electricity varies depending upon the supplier.

To learn more about how to shop for energy, the Board of Public Utilities has created an entire website with helpful information, explanations and tips: Please visit NJ Powerswitch

Solar in New Jersey

New Jersey is the nation’s fifth-largest solar state, with over 382,000 homes powered by solar (according to the Solar Energy Industries Association). The renewable energy economy in New Jersey supports over 7,100 solar jobs, in over 570 companies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of gasoline, natural gas, and the cost of a kilowatt hour have all increased in New Jersey from May 2017 to May 2018. But the price of solar in New Jersey has decreased by over 50% in the last 5 years.  Companies like Energy Sage offer information about solar and compare installer quotes for you.

New Jersey has a renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, which requires utilities to offer a certain percentage of their electricity generated by renewable resources rather than fossil fuels. The State legislature passed a bill in April 2018 (A3723/S2314) to increase New Jersey’s renewable portfolio standard by 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, with an increased solar requirement of 5.1% (instead of 4.1%) by 2021.  Despite solar’s decrease in price over the years, over three quarters of New Jersey residents have not yet been able to access solar but this may begin to change. This new legislation also laid the groundwork for a statewide community solar program, to create a next generation of solar incentives, and provides for a Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.

This state legislation is particularly important for Jersey City, since 70.5% of the population is made up of renters, rather than single family homeowners. The new legislation gives special consideration to low and middle income residents, increasing access to solar for more of our residents.