Friday, February 9, 2018

Op-Ed: Support home-grown solar energy in New Jersey

Thousands of energy jobs in New Jersey hang in the balance

Anne Hoskins
Anne Hoskins
By Anne Hoskins
Chief Policy Officer, Sunrun
Last week, Exelon announced plans to shutter Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant a full year
in advance of the date mandated by law, putting jobs at risk. If state lawmakers don't act soon, 7,000 additional in-state solar jobs could be in jeopardy, risking a stable source of local employment, along with clean, resilient energy — and importantly, the distributed energy backbone for New Jersey's clean energy future.
New Jersey pioneered homegrown solar energy; now is not the time to abandon that legacy. Lawmakers should support rooftop solar energy this legislative session by maintaining a stable solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market.
The New Jersey Legislature already voted last year to extend the SREC program for two years. This legislation would have protected jobs by providing support for New Jersey's distributed solar industry, while giving a runway for regulators to develop a long-term policy framework that supports an affordable, clean-energy future.
Despite overwhelming support in the Legislature and among the public, Gov. Chris Christie failed to sign this bill. Adding insult to injury, last month President Donald Trump imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels and modules, making the need for interim SREC legislation all the more urgent.
Now it's time to act and ensure New Jersey's homegrown solar jobs engine continues to power the Garden State.
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