New Jersey Senate Bill 2276 has been delivered to outgoing Governor Chris Christie’s desk to be signed into law. This new clean energy bill seeks to expand upon the state’s previous 4.1% goal for overall solar use of renewable and clean energy solar power. It is unknown at this time whether outgoing Governor Christie will sign this clean energy legislation or leave it for Governor-elect Phil Murphy. 

At this point it’s hard to see why either governor would not like the idea of increasing the state’s clean energy solar usage goals. There are many compelling reasons to sign the bill that are health, economic and pollution reducing related. 

By taking the initial steps in authorizing new incentives for those that use renewable solar clean energy, the Senate hopes to address several needs in the state. Not only do they hope expanding solar use will increase the use of clean energy sources in the state but they also hope a byproduct of these incentives is the creation of new solar clean energy related jobs. 

What Exactly Does New Jersey Senate Bill 2276 Propose? 

At the current time New Jersey has a clean energy solar usage goal of 4.1% of overall energy use in the state. The state is already expected to easily meet or exceed this clean energy goal sometime in 2018. The 4.1% clean energy solar usage goal will be met a full 10 years ahead of its original 2028 target date. State lawmakers recognized the fact that both solar power and other clean energy tax incentives in the state played a big part in meeting this goal so far ahead of schedule. 

Bill 2276 will shift this clean energy solar usage goal even higher. The new clean energy solar usage goal for New Jersey will now be set at 5.3%. Even better solar energy tax incentives will be integral in helping the state reach this new clean energy solar usage goal. The new target date for meeting the new solar usage goal is ambitious as well. The Senate hopes New Jersey can meet this new clean energy solar usage goal by 2022. 

The Reasons behind New Jerseys Increased Clean Energy Solar Goals 

What are some of the biggest factors in the senators’ of New Jersey wanting to raise the clean energy solar usage goal even further? There are several good ones. 

The first reason is an economical one. A byproduct of the state’s initial ambitious clean energy solar usage goal was that it made the solar related industry in New Jersey the 5th largest solar use market in the country. It’s estimated that the solar power portion of the clean energy industries in the state now employ well over 6000 people.  

Lawmakers felt that when the initial clean energy overall solar use goal of 4.1 was met and its associated incentives eliminated, it would in turn hurt the state’s economy. Raising the clean energy solar use goal to 5.3% accompanied by more tax incentives is a great short term fix to avoid this potential economic blow to New Jersey 

Apparently legislators in New Jersey have also taken the American Lung Association’s 2017 findings on the poor state of the air quality very seriously too.  In the American Lung Association’s report, ‘The State of the Air 2017’, 11 of 21 New Jersey counties received an F (the lowest possible) grade for their breathable air quality.  

The increased use of clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, are a great way to go about lessening the state’s pollution contributing greenhouse gases.  

Clean Energy Solar Power Incentives Worked Once But Can They Work Again? 

Money definitely speaks as far as increasing the use of clean energy sources by the New Jersey public and private sectors. That’s why New Jersey policy makers hope to meet the new target percentage of clean energy solar power use by offering new and improved tax incentives for those that install solar generated power devices. It worked so well once they see no reason why these clean energy solar power incentives won’t work again. 

It will definitely be a clean energy related situation to keep a close eye on in the future. You can expect other states to follow suit by raising their clean energy solar usage goals too. Of course that’s contingent upon whether these expanded New Jersey tax incentives for clean energy solar use continue to work as well as they did the last time.  

Sources:  

https://www.seia.org/news/new-jersey-legislature-raises-states-solar-energy-goal-incentivizing-growth-jobs-and-clean 

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/new-jersey-legislature-passes-measure-to-raise-solar-target/514527/ 

https://patch.com/new-jersey/montclair/n-j-has-among-nations-worst-air-american-lung-association-study-says 

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