New Jersey’s wave energy bill initiative takes a step forward
The New Jersey State Assembly’s Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources unanimously agreed to advance the wave energy bill initiative, which encourages the state of New Jersey to explore a deployment plan for wave energy technologies.
The wave energy legislation bill, presented by assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, also foresees the creation of financial incentives and the promotion of public-private partnerships to advance wave energy industry in the state of New Jersey.
As the next step for the bill, state senator Andrew Zwicker – who is sponsoring the initiative – will introduce the bill in the New Jersey State Senate. This is planned to take place by the end of September 2022, and the bill is expected to go to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“Wind and solar is not going to be the savior, period. There has to be other energy sources that will fill some of these gaps,” said Karabinchak. “If it’s nighttime, that solar farm isn’t doing a thing. If the wind slows down on these farms, there has to be something else, some other energy source, that will fill that gap.”
Assemblyman Don Guardian, a committee member, who served as mayor until 2018 in Atlantic City, where Karabinchak hopes to pilot a wave energy project on the Steel Pier echoed Karabinchak’s defense of the bill, saying: “It’s a clean source of energy that I think provides the least negative impact on our environment, and it’s free energy, once you have the capital costs. I think it would be foolish for New Jersey not to be leading the nation and the world in at least studying if this is practical.”
In addition, New Jersey’s governor Phil Murphy included $500,000 in the current state budget to conduct a study and create a pilot program for wave and tidal energy feasibility.
According to Eco Wave Power, the company is currently drafting a letter of intent to build the Steel Pier project.
In response to the passing of the bill in the Assembly Committee, Eco Wave Power’s Founder and CEO Inna Braverman said that in her view ‘an early adoption of wave energy in the State of New Jersey will position New Jersey as a leader in the marine energy sector and open the door for similar legislation initiatives in additional coastal states in the United States’.
Braverman added: “Once again, New Jersey can be an energy pioneer by taking advantage of its coastline to deliver clean, cost-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly power to its electrical grid.
“In my opinion, the passing of this bill, would be a historical moment for the State of New Jersey.”
It is estimated that 750MW of energy can be produced from New Jersey’s shores alone and the US Energy Information Administration estimates that the energy potential from waves is equivalent to 66% of all electricity currently generated in the United States, according to Eco Wave Power.
“With almost 140 miles of coastline, New Jersey is in a unique position to be the leader in this growing field. This legislation seeks to set goals pertaining to wave and tidal energy in the State’s Energy Master Plan which bring the State one step closer toward achieving net-zero emissions and 100% renewable energy by 2050.
“We cannot simply rely on one or two approaches for clean energy. With new technologies and advancements, we are able to produce much more efficient power systems that are environmentally friendly. By introducing this bill, we will open the door for more legislation to follow suit and expand our renewable, clean energy capabilities,” Karabinchak concluded.
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