In the past two months five articles (1)(2)(3)(4)(5) concerning the cost of the Murphy Energy Plan (MEP) have been published. These articles on solar and total costs, reveal the MEP electricity costs are unknown. Will the `clean, renewable’ electricity be affordable?
Solar subsides alone have ballooned in two years from $500 million per year to in excess of $800 million to as high as $1.2 billion per year (4). These are just subsidy costs, not the electricity costs. The International Energy Agency claims solar electricity is the lowest priced electricity ever (6). It so, why are solar subsides required and why aren’t electricity rates falling as the MEP is implemented? The subsides support about 3,600 (7) megawatts of installed solar power and the MEP requires 17,000 MW (8) of installed solar power by 2035. Subsides to support 17,000 MW will cost about $3.8 billion dollars per year plus the cost of the electricity.
Currently the solar industry employs about 5,300 to 6,600 people (7) (1) and without subsides solar installations will cease This means each solar job receives a subsidy in excess of approximately $100,000 per year. How is a vibrant industry?
While solar subsidy costs climb the BPU acknowledges it has not done the financial calculations required to determine the cost of offshore wind. (4) The BPU will hire an outside company to perform the calculations but they will take 18 months to complete. In the meantime, the BPU will still place offshore wind contracts without any idea if ratepayers can afford the offshore electricity. Perhaps all contracts should be placed on hold until reasonable, verifiable costs are calculated and publicly reviewed and discussed.
- (1) https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/04/what-will-a-total-solar-future-cost/
- (2) https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/04/solar-energy-incentives-murphy-green-agenda-incentives-too-low-not-enough-money/
- (3) https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/05/can-nj-entice-solar-developers-while-reining-in-costs-latest-round-of-arguments-growing-concerns-almost-1-million-behind-on-utility-bills/
- (4) https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/05/clean-energy-consultant-prices-18-month-timeframe-costs-to-come-after-project-approval/
- (5) https://www.njspotlight.com/2021/05/nj-heated-debate-grid-scale-solar-projects-legislation-fuels-doubts-over-clean-energy-targets-developers-conservationists-consumer-advocates-much-criticism-incentives-sen-bob-smith/
- (6) https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-is-now-cheapest-electricity-in-history-confirms-iea
- (7) https://seia.org/state-solar-policy/new-jersey-solar
- (8) https://nj.gov/emp/docs/pdf/2020_NJBPU_EMP.pdf page 13
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