New Jersey legislator pushes for higher solar requirements

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 11:10 AM
posted by rene5432

One New Jersey legislator plans to propose a bill he hopes could rescue the faltering solar market in the state, according to NJSpotlight.

Despite its colder northern climate and often cloudy skies, New Jersey has emerged as one of the largest markets for solar power in recent years, on the back of generous state incentives and strict renewable electricity requirements.

One of the key policies forces utility companies to produce a certain proportion of their power from renewable sources, with a smaller portion coming explicitly from solar power. The residential solar market benefited from this policy because electricity companies could purchase solar renewable energy credits from businesses and homeowners, as if the utilities had produced the power from their solar systems.

As solar installations cropped up around the state, the value of these SRECs dropped precipitously, slowing growth in the industry. Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, a Democrat from Middlesex, plans to propose a bill that would increase the requirements for solar, helping keep these credits at higher prices. The move has gained support from many sectors, though some oppose extending the increase over several years as Chivukula proposes.

In 2010, New Jersey hosted the second largest solar installation market in the country, behind only California.

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