The Garden State has an Energy Master Plan in place, and a unique new initiative to help it raise the funding to achieve its targets
Former Gov. Jim Florio, who served from 1990 to 1994, continues our year-end series of essays from some of our state’s chief executives. NJ Spotlight’s invitation was that the former governors write about an issue they think is important as New Jersey enters 2014, any topic they chose. Florio, now back in private practice as an attorney, opted to write about the state’s long-term energy needs.
New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan (EMP), last revised in 2011, sets out the Garden State’s strategic vision for the use, management, and development of energy in our state over the next decade.
One of the major obstacles to these energy improvements, however, is the lack of upfront capital. We are living in an era of increasingly constrained public-sector budgets. Funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy installations from government sources is becoming harder and harder to come by. It is becoming more and more apparent that if we are to make progress as rapidly as is necessary simply to meet our stated strategic goals, let alone forestall global warming, more private capital will be needed.
There is encouraging news on this front from other states and one that is about to take off in a big way here in New Jersey. A relatively new program — PACE, which stands for “Property Assessed Clean Energy” — has taken hold in places like Connecticut, California, and Florida and is literally funding thousands of necessary energy efficiency and green energy projects with private capital. And a project in Livingston, New Jersey, is now in its early stages. Read more.