New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced today that ” We (New Jersey) will withdraw from RGGI in an orderly fashion by year’s end”. This news is coming in front of a summer release of an amended Energy Master Plan for NJ. It is suspected that the major focus of the future for electricity generation in New Jersey will be on natural gas with a commitment to wind and solar. Major initiatives will be put on energy efficiency with the use of combined heat and power. Pulling out of RGGI will potentially allow for a more concentrated investment approach while reducing RGGI costs to ratepayers.
New jersey has a robust market for the development of solar by homeowners, business’s and municipalities. This market, which enables individual ownership of solar generation with an accelerated payback associated with a competitive REC market, has been hugely successful in spurring investment in the small sliver of power generation required from solar. The RGGI model differed by focusing on giving out lump sums of money towards all facets from energy development to energy assistance for the poor. During the last year New York and New Jersey siphoned RGGI money off to help fill budget deficits. A similar system to SRECs would spur investment in wind and combined heat and power. This would help New Jersey produce enough power in the future without building more coal plants.
A pull-out of RGGI would allow New Jersey to self tailor investment toward these new clean energy goals. RGGI funds were not used to the fullest potential previously. The same amount of money invested with a competitive REC market will go allot further. Private investment would take the risk while public support via a REC model. Ratepayers benefit in the long run because the price of the SRECs always track the lowest cost installations over time.