Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Planning a 'post-Christie' clean-energy agenda in NJ

Energy advocates are beginning to push for more renewable energy, looking into decoupling the power sector, and deploying charging stations for e-vehicles

Tom Johnson writes for NJ Spotlight:

With only a year left in Gov. Chris Christie’s term, lawmakers and clean-energy advocates will likely focus on promoting more ambitious policies for renewable energy over the next 12 months.
The emerging agenda, under discussion among stakeholders and Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), the chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, aims to lay the framework for overhauling the state’s energy policies when a new governor takes office a year from now.
Some of the issues, like ramping up the state’s reliance on solar and other types of renewable energy, have been kicking around the Legislature for a few years. Others, like dramatically changing the business model of the state’s gas and electric utilities, have been debated in the past, but have eluded compromises that satisfy both industry and consumers,
The Legislature also is expected to explore ways to develop energy-grid storage, a technology now recognized as crucial to expanding and making intermittent-power sources, such as wind and solar, more reliable and pervasive.
The objectives run counter to some of the policies embraced by the Christie administration and contrary to the energy policies anticipated to be advanced by President-elect Donald Trump. But proponents argue the efforts to fight climate change will likely be led by states over the next four years.
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