Sierra Club Group to consider NJ FREE renewable energy plan

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On Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, the Skylands Sierra Club Group will host a presentation about an initiative called NJ FREE, a renewable energy policy plan for New Jersey.

A broad‐based coalition of organizations and individuals is committed to the transition of New Jersey’s energy economy from a fossil fuel‐based system to one based on renewable energy. NJ FREE seeks the adoption of a state requirement for 80 percent renewable electricity by 2050, with an intermediate requirement of 30 percent renewable electricity by 2025.

It also seeks a requirement that the total electric usage in New Jersey be reduced by 20 percent by 2025 relative to 2012 usage, and be reduced by 30 percent by 2050 relative to 2012 usage.

NJ FREE believes New Jersey has arrived at a time of decision for its energy future.

A number of the state’s aging coal‐fired power plants are at high risk of retirement due to their inability to meet clean air requirements.

Furthermore, the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant is slated to retire in 2019. There will be a need to develop policy decisions regarding what sources of energy will make up new electric generation capacity.

Since Superstorm Sandy, there is a new perception that the cost of global warming, rather than being something that will impact the distant future, is already costing residents of New Jersey.

The storm also highlighted the fragility of the state’s electric grid. Renewable energy offers a highly distributed, onsite, uninterruptible source of energy.

NJ FREE believes New Jersey is poised to benefit economically from a renewable energy transition. New Jersey already has a substantial solar industry infrastructure with thousands of skilled workers and professionals ready to deploy. It also has an excellent offshore wind energy resource base.

The NJ FREE presentation will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 1 West Nelson St., Newton.

A business meeting of the Skylands Sierra Club Group will follow the presentation.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Skylands Group is welcome to contact Group Chair Susan Williams at or 973-600-4960.

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