New York — The State of New Jersey on Monday released its Draft 2019 Energy Master Plan to reach 100% clean energy by 2050 by transitioning to carbon-neutral power generation and maximum electrification of the transportation and building sectors.
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"The Draft Energy Master Plan is a comprehensive roadmap toward achieving our goal of a 100% clean energy economy by 2050," Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement.
The plan defines clean energy as "carbon-neutral electricity generation" and electrification of the transportation and building sectors "to meet or exceed the Global Warming Response Act greenhouse emissions reductions of 80% relative to 2006 levels by 2050," or the 80-by-50 goal.
New Jersey's energy commitments to date include:
- Increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030
- Generating 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030
- Installing 2,000 MW of energy storage by 2030
- Increasing energy efficiency standards by at least 2% in the power sector and at least 0.75% in the natural gas sector by 2024
- Transitioning to a new solar incentive program
- Developing a community solar program
- Putting 330,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025
New Jersey generated 75.3 million MWh of utility-scale net electricity in 2018 using primarily a combination of natural gas (51.6%) and nuclear (42.5%) power sources, according to the plan.
Since the single-unit 670-MW Oyster Creek nuclear power plant closed in September 2018, New Jersey's share of electricity from nuclear power dropped to about 32% from its three remaining plants, and "natural gas has largely made up the difference," the draft EMP said.
The state's bulk utility electric grid is served by 35 large power plants consisting of 101 generating units. With the exception of New Jersey's last two coal-fired facilities, the power generating units are primarily fired with gas, while one cogeneration facility also fires some refinery gas and fuel oil is sometimes used as a backup fuel.
However, although the power generation sector accounts for about 20% of state net greenhouse gas emissions, mostly attributable to gas, in order to achieve a 100% clean energy future and reach the 80-by-50 target, the state must also "model, assess, and implement ways to minimize reliance on natural gas as the state transitions to a clean energy economy," according to the draft EMP.
The transportation sector accounts for 46% of the state's net greenhouse gas emissions, New Jersey's largest emissions source, the draft plan said.
The state's early analysis suggests it must electrify "close to 100%" of its light-duty vehicles and a "substantial number" of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and off-road mobile sources to meet its emissions targets, according to the draft plan.
A key part of meeting that goal will involve an interagency partnership announced last week designed to promote electric vehicle expansion through infrastructure buildout, an EV rebate program and other measures, that seeks to register 330,000 zero emission vehicles by 2025.
The power demand increase associated with that incremental level of EVs "would be about 1,000,000 additional MWh in 2030," New Jersey Board of Public Utilities spokesman Peter Peretzman said in an email.
"This represents an approximate 1.3% increase in electric energy needed statewide just to power the EVs. This increase would be more than offset by the statutorily required increase in energy efficiency by 2030, Peretzman said.
The EVs would "displace about 157 million gallons of gasoline which would mean a reduced energy cost to these drivers of about $320 million annually," he added.
Natural gas- and oil-fueled space heating, water heating, appliances, and industrial use accounts for 28% of New Jersey's greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the building sector should be "largely decarbonized and electrified by 2050," according to the plan.
That will involve the deployment of appliances like electrified heat pumps and hot water heaters.
The NJBPU will hold public meetings on the draft EMP through September.
-- Jared Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Rocco Canonica, email@example.com
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