Green Government: Update on Stabilizing Solar Sector for NJ

Pony up for a stable, strong solar sector in NJ.

With tax subsidies.

That’s essentially the gist of the conversation in Trenton right now.

It’s pretty clear that the sector will collapse without financial support from taxpayers.

The question is, how much?

And will that cost be worth it?

Here’s a solid round-up of the issues and major players:


Solar Subsidies Raise Questions

Proponents say it’s a worthwhile tradeoff, noting solar energy has the promise of meeting a reasonable balance of environmental, reliability and economic objectives.

The Governor is aligned with major industry players who say that supporting solar subsidies is the right move now.

Pay a little bit now, get a lot of jobs and future revenues later.

Opponents claim that it’s time to stop propping up solar and let market forces (aka “survival of the fittest”) decide.

I’d be down with the let-the-market-decide if it were a level playing field.

It’s not.

Oil enjoys tremendous government subsidies. The thing is, we’ve all gotten so used to it that we forget to account for it in the math.

Here’s a nifty infographic on what oil and solar would look like with comparable support.


What if Solar Power Had Fossil-Fuel like Subsidies?

Governor Christie knows that too many people have skin in the solar sector to let it go down.

For once, I’m in agreement.


Green Government: NJ Legs Seek to Stabilize Solar

News from Trenton about legislative efforts to stabilize NJ’s sinking solar sector.

On June 4, the NJ Senate passed a bill of measures to stabilize the NJ solar market.


Senate Ratifies Bill to Stabilize Solar Sector

Despite deep divisions about many aspects of the bill among the widely diverse solar industry, there is a general consensus that a compromise must be signed by Gov. Chris Christie shortly after the budget is signed. If nothing else, it would send a signal to investors and industry executives that New Jersey is not going to scale back its efforts to promote solar.

Sensing the breeze, NJ Utilities have signed on to support the measure.

In Turnaround, All NJ Utilities Agree to Promote Solar Development

In a bit of a surprise, all four electric utilities in New Jersey plan to participate in an extension of a program aimed at promoting the  installation of new solar systems on homes and businesses in the state.

But at least one trade group is crying foul, claiming that legislative fixes would unfairly advantage utility players and will cost  taxpayers money.

Crucial Vote Set on Legislation Aimed at Reviving Solar Sector

With a crucial vote on a new bill to prop up the solar industry in New Jersey possible as early tomorrow, a trade group yesterday warned it could cost consumers at least $300 million annually, and possibly as much as $400 million.

The Retail Energy Supply Association, an organization whose members provide electricity to residents and businesses who shop around for cheaper prices than what their incumbent utilities offer, is seeking amendments to a bill (A-2966) scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee on Thursday.

Now it’s on to the Assembly on Thursday June 7.