Renewable Energy Has Arrived and Is Here to Stay

Posted March 28, 2016

According to the US Energy Information Administration, wind power made up the largest segment (41 percent) of new electric generation capacity in 2015. Wind and solar power combined accounted for 67 percent of new electric capacity, more than double the 30 percent of new capacity from gas-fired power plants.

Unfortunately New Jersey bucked that positive national trend by leading all states in new gas-fired electric generation capacity. Most of the new capacity came from two combined-cycle plants, the Newark Energy Center (685 MW) and the Woodbridge Energy Center (795 MW). Both plants will be supplied by the Transco natural gas pipeline, which recently completed expansions to bring larger volumes of Marcellus natural gas to market areas.

A recent article posted on utilitydive.com highlights a new Deloitte study that focuses on trends in the renewable energy market and why these trends are indicative of a permanent shift toward renewables.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, U.S. clean energy investment hit a record $329 billion in 2015. The U.S. Congress also recently extended tax credits for wind and solar generation which represent up to $73 billion in additional investment.

The Deloitte study highlights eight key trends behind this surge:

  • Growth in renewable energy acquisition deals
  • Community solar projects are rising in popularity
  • Utility companies integrating renewables
  • Many states are adopting regulatory reforms that promote renewable energy
  • Several major corporations are promoting renewable energy
  • Energy companies focused on having the right people (knowledgeable, trained, etc.) onboard to sustain growth

ReThink Energy NJ’s website shares information on why a rapid transition to renewables is important, and will create healthier, more prosperous communities in New Jersey. Citizens need to demand renewable energy options and urge their elected leaders to adopt policies that will move New Jersey toward clean, renewable energy, and away from further use of dirty fuels like natural gas and pipelines that threaten our environment, health and communities. These trends toward renewable energy in the United States are here to stay, and now is the time for New Jersey to rethink our energy policies.

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