Losing out on economic jolt from clean power by ProQuest


Renewables - such as solar, wind, biomass or geothermal energy resources - are a second important area where utility involvement can make a big difference, stepping in where the market isn't. Since renewable energy is more expensive at this point, public intervention is needed in the form of subsidies or a renewable- energy standard, mandating that a certain portion of electricity supply should come from renewables.

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									Losing out on economic jolt from clean power                                                                                                                                     Poll Results
as a sciEntist and father, i strongly believe         proven way to produce wins for utility custom-
                                                                                                                       Corner                Office                         Which is the most likely resolution to the
the main reason we need to change energy is           ers, the economy and the environment. unfor-                                                                          state’s unemployment insurance crisis?
climate change.                                       tunately, businesses and homeowners aren’t               Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey
      But even if you believe the future of the       making these investments on anything like the              business issue? If you are a business or
planet isn’t really at risk, you cannot overlook      scale needed.                                             policy leader with a strong opinion, we
the clean-air bene-                                         utilities can change this picture with invest-     want to hear from you. Please send op-ed                                 33.1%
fits of green energy,                                 ments that bring the benefits of energy effi-                proposals to editorial@njbiz.com.
or the importance                                     ciency to all segments of society, including low-
of conservation.                                      income families, nonprofit institutions such as        the 20th century. an energy transformation is
      green ener-                                     cash-strapped hospitals, small businesses and          under way, but so far it is occurring mostly in                               16.6%
gy provides two                                       municipal facilities. doing so can help lower          fits and starts in our country, and mostly on the
additional ben-                                       customer bills and carbon emissions.                   state level. as things stand, uncertainty about
efits that none of                                          However, if society is to capture these ben-     federal policy is paralyzing the transition to a                     The state will scale back its benefits.
us can afford to                                      efits, utilities should be allowed to invest in        green economy.                                                       The federal government will bail out the fund.
ignore. the first is                                  energy efficiency, as much as they have tradi-               our nation needs a clearly defined, mod-                       No action will be taken, leaving employers
improved national                Ralph Izzo           tionally done in pipes-and-wires infrastructure.       ernized energy strategy that provides busi-                          to pick up the tab.
energy security. We                                         Renewables — such as solar, wind, bio-           ness certainty. With business certainty, a much
have been talking about energy independence           mass or geothermal energy resources — are a            greater level of investment dollars will flow.
for more than a generation. an important part
of the solution is to produce more domestic
                                                      second important area where utility involve-
                                                      ment can make a big difference, stepping in
                                                                                                                   a couple of steps are critical to open the
                                                                                                                                                                            Trusting Christie to cut
clean energy, including near our population
centers in states like new Jersey.
                                                      where the market isn’t.
                                                            since renewable energy is more expensive           Energy-efficiency investments                                unemployment benefits
      second, green energy is a growth engine         at this point, public intervention is needed in the       are a proven way to produce                                 Our readers tend to be pessimistic when
we need to harness in order to stay globally          form of subsidies or a renewable-energy stan-                                                                         it comes to the weekly poll, so it comes as
                                                                                                               wins for utility customers, the
competitive. While we wait, we are squandering        dard, mandating that a certain portion of electric-                                                                   something of a surprise to see only about a
economic opportunity — and the supply chain           ity supply should come from renewables.                 economy and the environment.                                  third of about 350 responders believe they’ll
is developing in china, Japan, france, germany              the subsidy can be delivered more effi-                                                                         be socked with higher taxes to compensate
and other countries. increasingly, we have had        ciently by a utility, which is in a position to                                                                       for a serious shortfall in the unemploy-
to look overseas for products like solar panels or    charge less for taking on regulatory risk. Here        floodgates for clean-energy investment and                     ment Insurance trust Fund. a slight majority
wind turbines. We are losing momentum, falling        again, utility involvement is predicated on reg-       innovation. first, we need to put a price on                   found it most likely that the governor’s plan
behind, and missing a golden opportunity to           ulatory mechanisms that allow utilities to earn        carbon across this land. legislation that limits               to scale back those benefits will be the order
create thousands of good jobs.                        a return on these investments and provide for          carbon would allow the market to move for-                     of the day.
      What to do? Energy utilities have long played   prompt cost recovery.                                  ward with solutions.                                                  Jim Garibaldi, of The Garibaldi Group,
a strong role in our nation’s development and               Where this has happened, as in new Jer-                second, we need to promote renewables                    said he trusts in Chris Christie’s plan. “Consis-
economic health. they can do so again, helping        sey, it involves an expansion of the utility’s         through a national renewable-energy standard                   tent with his fiscal actions thus far, the gover-
america get through a challenging time to a bet-      traditional role. But this new role is critical to     rather than the current state-by-state patchwork.              nor will scale back the benefits,” he wrote.
ter future. this opportunity exists because utili-    meet the challenges of our time — and soci-                  our nation has a tremendous stake in                            reader Stu Lipkin agreed, citing Chris-
ties are uniquely equipped to put their resources     ety’s future needs for safe, reliable, affordable      building the world’s leading green economy. it’s               tie’s “pro-business attitude.” But “it seems
to work in areas where the market isn’t.              and green energy.                                      time to get on the path to a sustainable-energy                doubtful that the federal government is will-
      this is the case with two key parts of the            this is the 21st century corollary — an          future. indeed, we have no time to lose. u                     ing to increase the deficit to continue bailing
energy future — efficiency improvements and           update, if you will — of the utility’s role in pro-    ----------------------------------------
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