By 2020, New Jersey has a goal of having 22.5% of renewable energy generation and could be funding storage solutions in the near future.
Big goals are fine, and New Jersey is actually just 3rd in the nation, behind California and Arizona, in the number of solar installations. It may seem counterintuitive to cut funding for exactly those types of renewable energy programs. In fact, for 2014, the budget for solar, biomass, onshore wind, and water energy is just $7.5 million.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Office of Clean Energy is suggesting switching some of the funds taken away from new installations and putting it toward energy storage. The proposal would start with $2.5 million for 2014 and add up to $10 million over the next four years.
Funding storage solutions for renewable energy makes sense, because renewable energy is often inconsistent, relying on weather and natural cycles for the best output. There are backup systems in place, natural gas power plants for example, which can throttle up and down to balance demand, but that kind of defeats the purpose of clean energy generation. Putting funds into storage development will help ensure a cleaner NJ power grid.