Solar and clean energy has long been a hot topic amongst the government. There are numerous initiatives out there in different states up and down the country. Some governors are taking a more active approach to the issue and pushing forward for a clean energy economy. None more so than the newly elected governor of New Jersey; Phil Murphy. He’s had some strong views on the previous state government, and fully supports the idea of using clean energy as much as possible.
It’s no secret that New Jersey has taken some backwards steps with regards to clean and renewable energy. Under the previous rule of Governor Christie, multi-billion dollar projects were scrapped, and New Jersey even found itself pulling out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
As a consequence, Governor Murphy is looking to right the wrongs of his predecessor, by coming up with various clean energy initiatives. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through some of his ideas that he believes will clean up New Jersey and lead to a more eco-friendly economy.
100% Clean Energy By 2050
One of Governor Murphy’s biggest plans is to try and make the state completely free from non-renewable energy sources by 2050. He’s already began planning this, despite only taking office a month ago. He hopes that, by investing a lot of money in both clean energy and energy efficiency, New Jersey will see economic growth as well. These industries should create more jobs for local people while helping the environment at the same time.
Some of the main ideas he has for this plan involve:
Rejoin The RGGI
While his predecessor thought the RGGI was a waste of time and money, Murphy places a firm emphasis on rejoining it as soon as possible. The RGGI is an initiative built around reducing carbon emissions throughout the country. This involves capping CO2 emissions per state, with any additional emissions usage leading to additional charges which are then re-invested in clean energy.
Expanding The Solar Energy Market
There was a time where New Jersey was seen as the leader in solar energy. It produced more solar energy than any other state and created thousands of jobs. But, under the previous government, this has changed. Now, Governor Murphy wants to regain this title by expanding the solar market. This is one of his main priorities, as he wants to get more solar energy systems in homes and commercial buildings, offering cleaner energy and more jobs.
3,500MW Offshore Wind Generation
A key target of Governor Murphy is to ensure New Jersey can generate a whopping 3,500MW of wind energy by 2030. This has never been done before in the country, and the result could lead to millions of homes receiving clean power. It’s a big task, but plans are in motion to make sure it happens.
No More Fracking
Fracking has long been used by energy companies as a way of extracting gas and other energy sources. However, there are many environmental concerns regarding the fracking process. Furthermore, Governor Murphy believes that a ban on fracking will force energy companies to focus on cleaner energy sources. So, he plans to do just that, and also ban the storage of any waste created from fracking.
The new Governor also proposes more funding for the energy efficiency market, and more incentives to get people and companies to be energy efficient. It’s not entirely clear what he plans to do in this regard, but it could mean tax incentives or initiatives, etc.
Financing For Green Projects
Murphy also wants to ensure that any green projects in New Jersey are properly funded. To do this, he aims to use any money generated by the RGGI and using it to provide low-interest loans. These loans could act as an added incentive to get companies to think about more green projects.
The general consensus is that New Jersey is about to get a lot greener in the next few years and decades. For too long, the state government has tried to choose between a healthy economy and energy efficiency. However, Governor Murphy is keen to push forward this idea of a green economy; a bustling and booming economy that’s born out of being greener and more energy efficient. Clean energy can create new businesses, leading to more jobs, and fuelling the economy.
Naturally, we’re still in the very early days, and Governor Murphy has barely taken office. But, it’s clear that solar energy – and other clean energy sources – are at the forefront of his plans.