New Jersey’s Commitment to 100% Clean Energy By 2035
Governor Phil Murphy recently signed an executive order committing New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2035, making the state a leader in the transition to clean energy.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order committing New Jersey to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035 places the state as a front-runner in the race to zero carbon. More than just political posturing, the executive order appears well thought out in that it includes strategic planning processes to make the plan happen:
- A strategic plan for the state’s transition to clean energy
- An Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy
- A task force to identify barriers to and opportunities for the transition
Governor Murphy’s executive order sets forth a comprehensive and ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move the state towards a clean energy economy. The order directs state agencies to take direct actions to achieve the 100% clean energy goal, beginning with a roadmap to achieve the goals and a set of interim targets.
The order also requires state agencies to consider environmental justice in all climate change and energy policy decisions. This is an important step in ensuring that low-income communities and communities of colour, who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and pollution, are not left behind as the state transitions to clean energy.
With this executive order, Governor Murphy sends a strong message that New Jersey is committed to leading the way on climate action and clean energy.
The state is already well on its way to clean energy; in 2018, it passed a landmark clean energy bill that set a 50% renewable energy goal by 2030. As a result, solar capacity has increased, offshore wind projects have been expanded, and several more large-scale projects are in development.
In July 2021, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities authorized what they call a Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) Program to increase solar capacity up to 3,750 megawatts by 2026 – twice the previous capacity. This new program is meant to replace the previous SREC program and will help decrease consumer electricity costs. By 2026, solar energy is projected to supply 10% of New Jersey’s total electricity needs.
Investing in wind energy technologies is another way to help New Jersey reach its goals, specifically offshore wind farms. Since 2019, several large offshore wind farm projects have been approved with the intention of having more than 500,000 homes powered by wind energy.
To ensure that renewable energy is stable and available for customers, energy storage is being added to the mix. The state will have 2GWh of energy storage by 2030, and this will be enough, when combined with solar and wind generation, to provide energy during the low production times.
Governor Murphy has made it clear that he is committed to achieving 100% clean energy for New Jersey. Additionally to the 100% clean energy by 2035, more than 400,000 residences and 20,000 commercial properties will have emission-free heating and cooling systems installed by 2030. The state has earmarked $70 million to make adopting medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles more affordable to lower-income buyers. Last but not least, the adoption of advanced Clean Cars II legislation will be introduced to ensure that all new cars and light trucks sold in the state are zero emission by 2035.
Governor Murphy’s commitment to transitioning New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2035 is a major step forward in the fight against climate change. This decision marks a groundbreaking moment for the region and will set an example of what states can do when prioritizing environmental responsibility. With this bold move, Governor Murphy has shown that he is dedicated to leading the nation in safeguarding our planet for future generations.