The purpose of the 2011 Energy Master Plan is to document the Christie Administration's strategic vision for the use, management, and development of energy in New Jersey over the next decade. As required by law, the EMP includes long-term objectives and interim measures consistent with and necessary to achieving those objectives. The Administration will manage energy in a manner which saves money, stimulates the economy, creates jobs, protects the environment, mitigates long-term cumulative impacts, and is consistent with the goals of the State Strategic Plan. Thus, the specific recommendations in this 2011 EMP focus on both initiatives and mechanisms which set forth energy policy to drive the State's economy forward, but do not lose sight of environmental protection imperatives. Efforts to promote economic development will include increasing in-state energy production, improving grid reliability, and recognizing the economic, environmental, and social benefits of energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the creation of jobs.
To that end, the Administration has formulated five overarching goals that the State should pursue:
1. Drive down the cost of energy for all customers - New Jersey's energy prices are among the highest in the nation. For New Jersey's economy to grow energy costs must be comparable to costs throughout the region; ideally these costs should be much closer to U.S. averages.
2. Promote a diverse portfolio of new, clean, in-State generation - Developing efficient in-State generation while leveraging New Jersey's infrastructure will lessen dependence on imported oil, protect the State's environment, help grow the State's economy, and lower energy rates. Energy diversity is essential. Concentrating New Jersey's energy future on any one form of energy is ill-advised. Picking "winners" and "losers" should not be the State of New Jersey's job, but formulating incentives to foster the entry of both conventional and renewable technologies is required when market based incentives are insufficient.
3. Reward energy efficiency and energy conservation and reduce peak demand - The best way to lower individual energy bills and collective energy rates is to use less energy. Reducing energy costs through conservation, energy efficiency, and demand response programs lowers the cost of doing business in the State, enhances economic development, and advances the State's environmental goals.
4. Capitalize on emerging technologies for transportation and power production - New Jersey should continue to encourage the creation and expansion of clean energy solutions, while taking full advantage of New Jersey's vast energy and intellectual infrastructure to support these technologies.
5. Maintain support for the renewable energy portfolio standard of 22.5% of energy from renewable sources by 2021 - New Jersey remains committed to meeting the legislated targets for renewable energy production.