New Jersey Conservation Foundation
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Renewable energy: Save money and our land, water, air and health
9/27/2018 Volume XLVIII, No. 39

Governor Murphy has signed a new law that requires New Jersey to get half of its power from renewable energy by 2030, and he’s setting the bar even higher with a goal of achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050, which should be defined to mean 100 percent renewable energy. Right now, renewable energy makes up about 15 percent of our power.

So how can we get from 15 percent to 50 percent to 100 percent?

New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, currently undergoing an update, will provide a roadmap to achieving these ambitious goals. The state Board of Public Utilities is now holding public hearings and asking for written comments.

The encouraging news is that a 100 percent renewable energy future is not only possible, but can be more affordable than our current reliance on fossil fuels.

Barb Blumenthal, an energy expert and researcher with New Jersey Conservation Foundation, testified at a Board of Public Utilities hearing that this state we’re in has the potential to reach a renewable energy future that both reduces air pollution emissions and reduces costs for consumers.

“New Jersey’s renewable energy future can be lower-cost than a future that relies on natural gas,” stated Blumenthal. “A smart portfolio of renewable energy resources could now offer the lowest-cost pathway to provide reliable electricity by 2050.”

The reason for the low cost is simple: Underlying economics increasingly favor renewable energy over gas. In fact, Blumenthal believes new natural gas projects “face the very real risk of becoming financial disasters for their investors and owners after 2030, if not sooner.”

So how can New Jersey achieve both renewable energy and low costs? One way is to look at how other states are moving away from fossil fuels. Blumenthal said other states – most notably Hawaii, California and Minnesota – are using sophisticated computer models.

These state-of-the-art models consider all types of power, including nuclear, gas, coal, hydro, solar and wind. They also look at all possible combinations of generation, flexible load, transmission and storage. The models come up with long-term plans for replacing fossil fuels with renewables.

Blumenthal said New Jersey should use similar models. “This work is essential to preserve a healthy planet, to support a vibrant economy and to provide low-cost energy,” she testified.

Blumenthal also emphasized that natural gas is not clean energy: It’s actually the primary source of New Jersey’s current emissions from electricity generation.

New Jersey voters are getting the message. A new survey of the state’s registered voters, conducted by The Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll for ReThink Energy NJ, found that 66 percent do not consider natural gas as clean energy. This is a 23-point increase since 2016!

The same poll revealed that three of every four respondents want New Jersey to achieve a goal of 100 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2050. 

Seventy-five percent of those surveyed said the state should invest more in renewable energy sources than in fossil fuels and pipelines. Two out of three (66%) said they are willing to pay $10 or $15 more per month for solar or wind energy in order to reduce emissions.

Solar, more than natural gas (44% to 26%), is seen as most important to the state’s energy future, and 74 percent support the development of offshore wind energy.

Approximately eight out of 10 voters said they are concerned about proposed new gas pipelines, including impacts on natural areas and wildlife habitats (81%), the seizure of private property by energy companies (81%), risks to air and water quality (79%), and the targeting of protected natural areas like the Pine Barrens (78%).

Two-thirds (67%) said the jobs created by pipelines are not worth the environmental and health risks, and the state should instead create jobs through clean, renewable energy projects.

The last of the Board of Public Utilities’ public meetings on the Energy Master Plan are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4, in Newark; and Wednesday, Oct. 20, in Camden – go to for more details. Written comments will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 12, at the email address

Please tell the Board of Public Utilities that New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan should facilitate a rapid transition to 100 percent renewable energy, like appropriately sited solar and wind projects, while preventing ratepayer dollars from being wasted on unneeded natural gas infrastructure that should not be considered clean energy.

For more information and key talking points, go to   

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at or contact me at



NJ Natural Lands Trust celebrates 50 years

Must love bats!

Move and improve your health!

Renewable energy: Save money and our land, water, air and health

Speak up for endangered species!

Save the bugs!

Check out New Jersey's fall bird migration

A little bit of respect...for native plants!

Explore New Jersey's wildflower meadows

All aboard floating classrooms

Catch the Perseids meteor shower!

Check out the 'fun' in fungi

Too hot to think? Studies shows heat affects your brain

Love NJ's outdoors? Take action now!

New Jersey's official reptile, the bog turtle

Sea level rise and New Jersey: Not perfect together

These New Jersey plants have an appetite for insects

Explore the Pine Barrens through paddles, hikes and tours

Like to jog? 'Plog' instead and keep NJ clean

Love Jersey fruit? Thank our native pollinators!

Good news for globally rare swamp pink lilies

Say cheese! Remote cameras aid wildlife research

Begone, single-use plastic bags!

3,000 birds and counting for 'bluebird grandfather'

The Pine Barrens gets some help from its friends

A clean energy future for New Jersey

Cowtown and rare grassland birds, perfect together

Fight light pollution during International Dark Sky Week

New film tells story of how Petty's Island was saved

Ten years of nipping invasive species in the bud

Welcome spring in a county park

Go for a walk and feel better!

Grab a friend and go outside

Recycle your way to zero waste!

Last call for winter wildlife watching on Jersey coast

Without its 'understory' layer, the forest will collapse

From whale songs to poetry, a remarkable journey

A cleaner, greener New Jersey

Let's keep New Jersey the Garden State, not the Pipeline State

New Jersey's winter hikes

'Trees don't vote' but Byrne saved Pine Barrens anyway

Governor-elect Murphy should set new course on the environment

Protect soils to keep the garden in our state

Clean, plentiful water is New Jersey's lifeblood

A breath of fresh air for New Jersey?

Keep Liberty State Park free and open

A green agenda for Governor-elect Murphy

Life, liberty ... and a clean environment

New Jersey's aging water infrastructure

The land before time: NJ's Kittatinny Ridge & Valley


October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225 
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE