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Solar Program Getting Eclipsed

Date : Wed, 25 Apr 2012 17:13:18 -0400

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

*Solar Program Getting Eclipsed*

Solar is now becoming an eclipse in New Jersey with the solar renewable energy certificates (SRECS) dropping to their lowest amount being traded for less than $100 last week. The spot market dropped below $100 and the average in April was $135 however, this same time last year the SRECs were being traded for $655 this shows a dramatic drop over a short one year period. This dramatic decrease is due in part to the failed policies of the Christie administration to help keep the solar industry in our state afloat. Governor Christie has basically gotten rid of the solar rebates in our state, has pulled out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and has lowered the Renewable Portfolio Standard in our state from 30% to 22.5%. New Jersey was on track to meet the aggressive clean energy goals, but all of these factors will cost the state green jobs and economic stability, critical pollution reductions, and energy independence.

“We have one of the most successful solar programs in the country and Governor Christie is killing that program. Instead of making solar a reality the administration seems to be doing whatever they can to stop solar from happening,” *said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.*

The Administration has already eliminated the rebates for families and residents to put solar on their homes and have made it difficult for small projects to get Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). The EMP calls for eliminating or drastically changing the societal benefits charge which helped pay for many of the solar installations we already have. They want to change the Solar Advancement Act to cut the amount of funding available from SRECs. They are cutting back our goals on clean energy overall which means less solar. The Governor has given $2 billion to subsidies for natural gas power plants, while eliminating programs for solar and renewable energy. When the Governor announced we would be pulling out of RGGI and released his EMP there was a drop in the cost of solar credits. We are concern, which looks like it may become a reality was that the Governor’s plan will cause the market to collapse which has happened in Pennsylvania, impacting over 200 solar companies in New Jersey. There are over 5,000 jobs in solar alone in New Jersey and the Governor’s policies not only hurt those jobs, but hurt companies that want to invest in solar in New Jersey.

“The Administration is supporting power lines bringing in dirty coal power to our state undermining renewable energy projects in the state. As we see a drop in prices we are going to see a drop in solar hurting our environment and economy,” *Jeff Stated.*

New Jersey is second in the nation in solar installations with about 10,000 installations. We have over 700 megawatts in solar already in use that is bigger than Oyster Creek Power Plant, also averaging 40 megawatts a month with one month alone producing 84 megawatts. We were on target to meet our solar goals and should be maintaining a robust solar program. In order to maintain this momentum New Jersey must support and expand our clean energy targets and program. Since Governor Christie has done more harm than good we need to turn to the legislature to push through legislation that will help keep our solar industry alive and thriving. The reason these credits fluctuate is because it is a market based system so when the Governor attacks climate change, clean energy and takes us out of energy programs it also affects the market because people do not want to invest in solar in the state. Businesses need transparency and insurance because when you destabilize the market it hurts solar. We need legislation that will bring our Renewable Portfolio standard back to 30% since New Jersey was on track to meet that goal and could potential go beyond that. A recent study by American Security Project found New Jersey could generate at least 31% of its electricity from renewable sources. However with Governor Christie’s EMP and energy policies it has hurt New Jersey’s residents and clean energy companies, undermining clean energy programs and economic growth, and will cost New Jersey jobs.

“We were on target to meet our renewable energy goals, but now the Governor is trying to wreck the SREC program. He is siding with the Koch brothers and fossil foolishness of the past instead of clean energy and our environment,” *said Tittel.*

-- 
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
609-656-7612
-- 
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
609-656-7612
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Received on 2012-04-25 14:13:18

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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