PRNewswire/ — The pioneering role of the State of New Jersey in the solar energy boom of the entire East Coast was made clear by State Senator Bob Smith in his opening speech at the Intersolar Summit. In times when China is opening a new coal power plant almost every week to fulfill the country’s energy needs, New Jersey is consciously choosing to go with new, future-oriented energy policy according to Senator Smith. Without a doubt, this primarily includes expanding in the field of solar energy – in New Jersey and throughout the United States. New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker also stressed the need for this energy transition along the East Coast and spoke clearly in favor of an increase of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the State of New York. “New York is open for solar business! Solar is not just a commodity for ratepayers, it is also an industry we want to see grow,” Senator Parker concluded.
The goal is that New Jersey, as a state, should be a model for the USA and foreign countries. For this reason, the self-commitment of energy providers to generating alternative energy, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), has to be expanded. Richard Lawrence, Executive Director of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), said he hoped for a significantly closer cooperation, longer terms and binding contracts, and emphasized that such decisions could not be made without the energy providers, but rather only if an agreement is reached by all parties.
“We have to work together and not against each other,” was the proposal made by New Jersey State Senator Bob Smith to the energy providers. Even Lyle Rawlings, President of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA), emphasized the increasing importance of renewable energy in the future energy mix of the United States. Taking into account the Renewable Energy Transition Act, which stipulates that 80 percent of all energy has to be from a renewable source by 2050, Rawlings made it clear that the role of energy providers should not be reduced, because changes could only be executed if the energy providers remain strong and “healthy,” and a consensus is reached.
In order to meet this ambitious-sounding energy policy goal, an annual construction of around 425 MWp in the state of New Jersey is required by 2050. This number is lower than the capacity installed during 2012, which amounted to 463 MWp. According to Rawlings, this change of thinking is essential and is reinforced by other substantial factors, such as the continuously rising amount of greenhouse gas emissions and a fragile power grid, which was clearly seen in the aftermath of the Superstorm Sandy.
In the afternoon, Lyle Rawlings, president of MSEIA, awarded the Chapin, Fuller, Pearson Medal to BPU Commissioner Jeanne M. Fox. This medal, which was named after the three solar pioneers Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson, is given to distinguish people who have rendered outstanding services to the solar industry. The ceremony was followed by a presentation from Princeton Power Systems about the subject of PV in conjunction with energy storage, in which Darren Hammell highlighted this correlation using pioneer projects. The financial services sector was represented by Alfred Griffin, president of the newly formed NY Green Bank. Griffin gave deep insights into the strategy and possibilities of the bank founded by New York Governor Cuomo, which deals exclusively with the financing of clean technology.
The closing speech of the Intersolar Summit in New Jersey was given by New Jersey Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, who is immensely popular in the local solar industry because of his merits within the field of renewable energies. Chivukula made it clear that there are no alternatives and promised his tireless support to achieve the formulated objectives in the future.
Information on the Intersolar Summit
The Intersolar Summit New Jersey is supported by the network initiative Joint Forces for Solar, MSEIA and NABCEP, Green City Freiburg, the Solar Energy Business Association and Solar Connecticut. Media partners are the PV Magazine Group, Renewable Energy World, Solar Builder, Solar Power World, ENF and altenergymag.com. The Cocktail Reception was sponsored by Centrosolar America, the experts for photovoltaic solutions.