Here’s how New Jersey can capitalize on its best clean energy investment opportunities

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Governor-elect Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda has the potential to be a game-changer for New Jersey. His influence can position the state to regain its leadership in the fight against climate change, and create a clean energy economy that will lead to more jobs, and improve the health and well-being of all New Jerseyans.

To capitalize on this opportunity and achieve the state’s goals of clean, resilient, and affordable energy and transportation systems, we need to build on the progress we’ve made with new policies and programs that will allow the adoption of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, and clean transportation infrastructure at scale.

With New Jersey’s many competing investment needs, how will we pay for a much needed clean energy transformation? Public funds, whether from tax payers or utility customers, are not enough. EDF’s latest report, Financing New Jersey’s Clean Energy Economy: Pathways for Leadership, analyzes three innovative financial approaches that leverage public resources to catalyze private investment in these technologies.

New Jersey’s RPS and other existing rebates don’t position the state to meaningfully penetrate the full market. The state needs to adopt other finance mechanisms in order to build a robust clean energy economy.

New Jersey can also make available financial tools that encourage private investment. Tools must be market-oriented: flexible and adaptable to react to market changes. At the same time, we need to envision at the outset ways to help low-to-moderate income households access efficiency and other clean energy upgrades.

New Jersey can and must move forward quickly to establish the institutions and adopt the mechanisms needed to encourage private investment that will create vibrant clean energy and clean transportation economies that will benefit all New Jerseyans.

Mary Barber

blogs.edf.org