Chivukula, stakeholders to examine clean energy issues

TRENTON – New Jersey may be a national leader in solar energy, but its success has been costly.

On Tuesday, an Assemblyman and stakeholders will examine how to address the problem of falling prices of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, which – among other issues – threaten the future of clean energy progress in the state.

Assembly Utilities Chairman Upendra Chivukula, (D-17), Franklin Township, will convene a discussion on several energy-related issues, chief among them SRECs and how their declining values will affect the future of solar energy.

“Solar has emerged as one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, and has been an economic driver through the recession, putting the goal of powering 2 million homes by 2015 within reach,” Chivukula said in a release.

“2010 was a banner year with installations growing at a rate of 102 percent compared to overall economic growth of an estimated two percent,” he said.

But the price of the certificates has dropped from around $600 – helping New Jersey to become the national leader in solar installations – to recently below $200, affecting the future of the industry.

Utilities must purchase a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources with the goal of reaching 22.5 percent by 2020, under Gov. Christie’s revised Energy Master Plan. Previously, the Plan set a goal of 30 percent for renewable.

Also on Tuesday, stakeholders will discuss related subjects, such as establishing energy portfolio standards and credits for alternative forms like geothermal, combined heat and power (CHP) and storage technologies.

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Chivukula, stakeholders to examine clean energy issues