A new report by Environmental Northeast says if New Jersey does not rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the state could miss out on serious economic benefit.
In the report, issued today, Environmental Northeast said if the group lowers the cap on emissions, the 10 states involved could benefit from an additional $11.6 billion in net economic value, and more than 82,000 job years — each job year representing one full-time job for one year — by 2020.
The program is reviewed every three years, and as part of the 2012 review, states are considering updating cap levels to reflect the amount of reduced emissions already achieved. The potential economic impact was calculated by setting the cap at current emissions levels and assuming all allowances created will be sold at auction.
New Jersey withdrew from RGGI at the end of 2011.
According to ENE, New Jersey benefited from RGGI proceeds by directing $75 million to the general fund to balance the budget, and other auction revenues were distributed through the Clean Energy Solutions Capital Investment loan and grant program.
One of the projects supported by the CESCI grant was the installation of a combined heat and power system at The University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, which is scheduled to open later this month.
The $5 million loan and grant mix made possible the development of a 4.6-megawatt system for the hospital by NRG Thermal LLC.