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A Map to NJ’s Clean Energy Future: NJ Spotlight Roundtable

Is it possible for New Jersey to get to a carbon-free economy by 2050? Experts discuss the pathways and the pitfalls

Power grid resized

By 2050, New Jersey aims to be a carbon-free economy. However, it has yet to chart a road map for achieving that goal.

How will New Jersey electrify its transportation system, modernize an aging power grid, and seamlessly integrate clean energy? How can it use energy more efficiently?

Curtis Fisher & Nicole Sitaraman
Panelists Curtis Fisher of the National Wildlife Federation and Nicole Sitaraman of Sunrun, Inc.
Scott Weiner
Scott Weiner, former president of the BPU and former commissioner of the then state Department of Environmental Protection and Energy

In the first of NJ Spotlight’s 2019 series of energy roundtables, held in Hamilton Township on March 15, experts discussed the possibilities, practicalities and benefits of transitioning to a clean-energy future.

The discussion took place as state officials are set within months to decide whether utility customers will give hundreds of million of dollars to preserve three nuclear power units in South Jersey and a trio of proposals to develop offshore-wind farms off the Jersey coast. Those projects are projected to cost billions of dollars, also funded by ratepayers.

Also up for decision are policies to electrify the transportation sector, to revamp the state’s solar sector, to spur less use of gas and electricity, and to figure out the shape and configuration of a much smarter electric grid — all at a time when scientists warn that climate change is occurring and that we’re running out of time to avert its most dire impacts.

In his keynote address, Scott A. Weiner, former president of the Board of Public Utilities and former commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and Energy addressed the evolving roles of utilities, markets, customers, and regulators in the state's migration to a 21st-century electric system and the realization of a 100 percent clean energy future.

Keynote

Scott A. Weiner, Esq., Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Cappelli LLC; former
Deputy, Markets and Innovation, NY State Department of Public Service;
former President, NJ Board of Public Utilities; former Commissioner
NJ Department of Environmental Protection & Energy


Panel A: Roles of Utilities and Markets

Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director, Conservation Programs,
National Wildlife Federation

Nicole Sitaraman, Senior Manager, Public Policy, Sunrun, Inc.

Senator Bob Smith, Chair, Environment and Energy Committee, New Jersey
State Senate

Geraldine Smith, Deputy General Counsel and Managing Director,
Environment, PSEG


Panel B: Roles of Priorities and Technologies

Larry Barth, Director, Corporate Strategy, New Jersey Resources Clean
Energy Ventures

Sara Bluhm, Director, Division of Clean Energy, New Jersey Board of
Public Utilities

Frank A. Felder, Ph.D,, Director, Rutgers Energy Institute; Director,
Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy, Edward J. Bloustein
School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

Amy Goldsmith, New Jersey State Director, Clean Water Action and
Co-founder, Empower NJ


Moderator

Tom Johnson, Energy Reporter, NJ Spotlight



Related Editorial Content

The Big Challenge for NJ’s Clean Energy: Juggling All the Moving Parts

WATCH NJTV’s VIDEO OF THE ROUNDTABLE


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