GOVERNOR MURPHY UNVEILS ENERGY MASTER PLAN: ANNOUNCES HISTORIC ORDER ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND LAND USE PERMITTING
Governor Phil Murphy unveiled New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan (EMP) yesterday.
The EMP, which is required by statute to be updated every 10 years, outlines key strategies to reach the Administration’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and to reduce green house gas emissions by 80 percent.
The related executive order, requires the NJ DEP to adopt PACT regulations (Protecting Against Climate Threats) and gives the agency two years to integrate climate change considerations, such as sea level rise, into its regulatory and permitting programs. This includes land use permitting, water supply, stormwater and wastewater permitting and planning, air quality, and solid waste and site remediation permitting.
With these executive actions, New Jersey is the first state in the nation to pursue integrating land use permits and climate change regulations.
KEY COMPONENTS OF THE EMP
The Energy Master Plan outlines the following seven key strategies and includes an implementation plan that lays out next steps and timelines:
Strategy 1: Reducing Energy Consumption and Emissions from the Transportation Sector, including encouraging electric vehicle adoption, electrifying transportation systems, and leveraging technology to reduce emissions and miles traveled.
Strategy 2: Accelerating Deployment of Renewable Energy and Distributed Energy Resources by developing offshore wind, community solar, a successor solar incentive program, solar thermal, and energy storage. It also involves adopting new market structures to embrace clean energy development and contain costs, opening electric distribution companies’ circuits for distributed energy resources (DER), and developing low-cost loans or financing for DER.
Strategy 3: Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Conservation, and Reducing Peak Demand including enacting 0.75 percent and 2 percent utility energy efficiency standards for natural gas and electricity, respectively, improving energy efficiency programs in New Jersey, adopting new clean energy and energy efficiency financing mechanisms, and strengthening building and energy codes and appliance standards.
Strategy 4: Reducing Energy Consumption and Emissions from the Building Sector through decarbonization and electrification of new and existing buildings, including the expansion of statewide net zero carbon homes incentive programs, the development of EV-ready and Demand Response-ready building codes, and the establishment of a long-term building decarbonization roadmap.
Strategy 5: Decarbonizing and Modernizing New Jersey’s Energy System through planning and establishment of Integrated Distribution Plans, investing in grid technology to enable increased communication, sophisticated rate design, and reducing reliance on natural gas.
Strategy 6: Supporting Community Energy Planning and Action in Underserved Communities through incentivizing local, clean power generation, prioritizing clean transportation options in these communities, and supporting municipalities in establishing community energy plans.
Strategy 7: Expand the Clean Energy Innovation Economy by expanding upon New Jersey’s existing 52,000 clean energy jobs and investing in developing clean energy knowledge, services, and products. New Jersey will focus on attracting supply chain businesses to create new clean energy industry clusters and bring clean energy research and development the state.
EXECUTIVE ORDER ON CLIMATE CHANGE
To support the strategies identified in the EMP, the executive order directs the DEP enact the following climate change regulations:
- Establishing a GHG monitoring/reporting program to identify all significant sources of GHG emissions, including carbon dioxide and short-lived climate pollutants, and monitor the progress of emission reductions to reach the target of 80 percent below 2006 emission levels by 2050 required under GWRA;
- Adopting new regulations under the Air Pollution Control Act establishing criteria to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and short-lived climate pollutants; and;
- Reforming land use regulations to incorporate climate change considerations into permitting decisions, to allow for better planning and building resilient communities by avoiding flood-prone areas, reestablishing chronically inundated wetlands, revegetating riparian areas, and encouraging green building and green infrastructure.