Christie Goes Solar

Governor Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation a few days ago to strengthen the state’s solar industry. Utilities will be required to 2.05% of their power from solar in 2014, rising to 4.1% in 2028. The law also sets a price cap of $339 for each megawatt-hour short of the goal in 2014. According to the solar industry, the legislation “addresses the current oversupply of N.J. solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), brings stability back to the N.J. solar market, and keeps the N.J. solar industry growing over the next several years,”

Here’s what Christie’s official website says:

“Since my time running for office, I made it clear that my Administration would be unrivaled in our aggressive support for the development of renewable sources of energy in New Jersey. Renewable energy not only helps meet our goals of increasing sustainability and protecting the environment, but can be an engine for economic growth and the creation of good-paying jobs for the people of our state,” said Governor Christie. “The bill I am signing today furthers these goals and will help us remain a national leader in the solar energy industry as we continue to promote innovative approaches to solar development, like developing landfills and other unusable lands and transforming them into sources of usable clean energy, all while holding down costs for families and businesses.”

That’s a refreshing deviation from current Republican orthodoxy. It’s not clear why Republicans have decided they hate renewables — other than the fact that Obama favors them, which is probably a sufficient reason by itself.  Perhaps the reason is that favoring renewable energy implies that there are problems with fossil fuels, at a time when coal, oil and gas seem to have become something of an object of veneration among many Republicans.

Correction.  I somehow managed to misspell the Governor’s name in the first version of this post.  I apologize for the error.  (Although how can we be sure of the true spelling of his name?  Has he released the long form of his birth certificate??)

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