Opinion: Addressing the challenges of transitioning NJ to a new energy future

solar, wind energy

FRANK A. FELDER / NJ SPOTLIGHT – As the state puts its finishing touches on its Energy Master Plan, it is worth taking a step back and discussing several challenges.

The premise of this Op-Ed is that the transition to a clean energy future is worthwhile. In addition to the moral imperative, the full range of health, environmental and economic benefits exceeds the costs. The corollary is that unless the transition is accomplished in a cost-effective, equitable and transparent manner, it risks being derailed by opponents who will inevitably make claims about rising energy costs, poor performance of policies and programs, and inadequate and one-sided analyses.

First, the transition to a clean energy future will be expensive and regressive. Replacing fossil fuels with clean energy requires a dramatic change in the economy. Every sector of New Jersey’s economy depends extensively on fossil fuels for heating, transportation, and electricity …

Frank A. Felder, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University.

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