On behalf of the 20,000 members of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), we would like to raise concerns over S-3061 (Bateman, Smith), which requires BPU to conduct a study concerning zero emission credits.
New Jersey has undergone a vast change in the last twenty years as the power market has been deregulated, the generation sector has improved its emissions and output leading the state to become a net exporter. Looking at our generation statistics today, our instate fleet has the lowest emissions across the board within PJM, which benefits our air as well as our generation outputs.
However there has been a change in the fuel diversity during the recent decade. The output of nuclear power has not decreased, but the total amount of natural gas has increased. In 2015, for the first time, natural gas generated more electricity in New Jersey than nuclear power did. Together, the two fuels provided more than nine-tenths of the state’s net electricity generation. This increase has also resulted in a net export of power out of our state which impacts other areas.
Examining our energy policy and future deserves ample attention. This occurs every few years through the state Energy Master Plan. Yet as policy evolves, such as what is going on with ZEC’s in other states, we need to look at the broader energy issues and costs to see how this policy might fit into New Jersey’s policy realm.
NJBIA supports the amendments put forth by Rate Counsel which help to define the zero emission credit, define parameters of the study, and examine costs to ratepayers. The business ratepayer consumes the majority of the electricity in New Jersey and to keep competitive we need reliability and affordability. Recognizing that, NJBIA feels that Rate Counsel’s amendments help to further refine the study to produce the best information before another policy decision is contemplated and has ripple effects in our markets.