Good questions @RedsforNamesake. If confronting #climate change is your priority, it is imperative to ramp up carbon-free energy asap.

1. NJ will now ramp up renewable energy from 13% in 2017 and 20% by 2020 under old RPS to 35% by 2025 & 50% by 2030. Impressive leadership.
2. To ensure that this new clean energy replaces fossil fuels and contributes to #climate mitigation goals, NJ's new laws also make payments to ensure the continued operation of 3 South Jersey nuclear reactors that currently supply 31% of the state's electricity consumption.
2. Cont.: That measure is essential and ensures that nearly all of the new clean energy growth over the next 12 years builds on top of the fossil-free foundation provided by the state's existing nuclear plants.
2. Cont.: A fourth reactor, the Oyster Creek plant in North Jersey, will still retire as scheduled in 2019. This is the oldest operating nuclear plant in the country and will be 50 when it retires. It provides another 6% of electricity consumed in New Jersey.
3. If instead, all of New Jersey's nuclear plants closed, 100% of the new renewable energy under this bill would be wasted replacing carbon-free nuclear. Instead of getting to >80% fossil-free electricity in 2030, the state would be at only 50%—exactly the share as today!
3. Cont.: Let me say that again: if the New Jersey legislature had not preserved the South Jersey nuclear plants, EVERY MEGAWATT-HOUR of new renewable energy built under the 50% renewable portfolio standard over the next TWELVE YEARS would be WASTED replacing carbon-free nuclear.
3. Cont.: This is exactly why it is an absolute #climate imperative that #climatehawks do everything they can to keep existing nuclear plants running wherever and whenever it is safe to do so. Closing nuclear plants wastes precious time we just cant afford…
4. So is the cost worth it? Well, yes, if you care about climate change. Full stop. The alternative is that New Jersey wastes 12 years of clean energy progress paying of the climate debt incurred by closing down their nuclear plants.
4. Cont.: The zero emissions credits paid to New Jersey nuclear plants will raise rates by less than half a cent per kilowatt-hour (0.4 cents to be exact). That works out to $3.41/month or 3% for the average PSEG customer…
4. Cont.: Not to be too simplistic about it, but are we willing to pay about the cost of one latte per month to try to stave off the worst effects of climate change? I sure as hell am.

(And I say that as an owner of a coffee shop who simply can't survive without coffee!)
5. In relative terms, the subsidy is about $13 per megawatt-hour. That's far below state support offered to new renewables (esp. rooftop solar) & less than the $23 per megawatt-hour federal production tax credit. Existing nuclear is a cost-effective source of carbon-free power.
6. In sum: New Jersey's successful effort to ramp up new renewables and preserve the fossil-free foundation provided by their existing nuclear plants is a model for #climate progress for other states and countries around the world. Bravo.
p.s. Also worth noting: @TheBrattleGroup estimates closure of Salem & Hope Creek plants would raise electricity prices and cost New Jersey ratepayers ~$400m/year. Even if estimate is +/- 50% accurate, important context for the $300m/yr subsidy cost.…
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More from @JesseJenkins

Sep 21, 2018
A new OECD report finds carbon pricing policies are spreading worldwide, but are almost uniformly too low to fully capture damages caused by CO2 or drive needed emissions declines. Here's a thread on why carbon pricing falls short and what we might do about it…
Using a social cost of carbon -- the estimate of societal damage caused by one ton of CO2 -- of €30/ton, the OECD finds that almost 90% of total global CO2 emissions are priced at a level below the damages they cause. About 55% of global emissions are not priced at all.
The OECD calculates the "carbon pricing gap" -- or the cumulative sum of each ton of global emissions times the gap between the carbon price applied to that ton and the €30/ton social cost of carbon estimates -- is 76.5%.
Read 39 tweets
Sep 11, 2018
Important memo to journalists & others reporting on passage of #SB100, California's clean electricity law signed by Gov. Brown yesterday.

What law does: requires 100% of CA electricity sales supplied by "eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources" by 2045.
What the law does *not* require:
(a) 100% renewable electricity (it specifies renewables AND "zero-carbon resources")
(b) elimination of fossil fuels from electricity (it requires carbon-free, not no fossil)
(c) 100% clean *energy* (the law is about electricity, not all energy)
I have read stories making all of the above statements in the past 24 hours, all of which are incorrect. The bill is deliberately focused on achieving 100% "carbon-free" electricity and is intentionally flexible. It will be up to state agencies to define "zero-carbon" further.
Read 12 tweets
Sep 6, 2018
With legislation committing California to 100% carbon-free electricity sitting on Gov. Brown’s desk, I wanted to share a timely new peer-reviewed article out today in the journal, @Joule_CP:…
In the paper, @nsepulvedam, @FdeSisternes, Prof. Richard Lester and I use detailed power system modeling to identify strategies that lower the costs and increase the odds of reaching a zero-carbon electricity grid. Check out MIT News coverage of the paper:…
After ~1,000 cases covering possible future tech cost, regional diffs in renewables quality & demand, and different limits on CO2, our study consistently demonstrates the best way to zero out electricity emissions is to deploy a balanced mix of low-carbon electricity sources.
Read 52 tweets
Apr 26, 2018
Everything in this thread by @jacob_mays is correct (and also calmy and clearly articulated). Contrary to @ShellenbergerMD's thesis, there are no physical reasons why wind or solar power must increase electricity costs.
Michael's first (of two controversial) posts on renewables driving up electricity costs… contains several grains of truth (eg the declining value of wind/solar as they scale) but it doesn't connect the right dots either.
Michael misses the main obvious reason why wind or solar *may* have driven up electricity rates in some places (eg Germany, Denmark, California): while renewables have gotten MUCH cheaper in the last few years, they are subsidy independent in few places and only recently...
Read 14 tweets
Apr 25, 2018
THREAD: There’s a commonly held view that nuclear power and wind & solar mix like oil and water. Inflexible, always-on nuclear, the idea goes, is ill-suited for a world where wind and solar output vary on timescales ranging from seconds to hours to seasons. 1/
In reality, while nuclear plants traditionally provide steady output 24-7, reactors are technically capable of much greater flexibility and can dynamically adjust their power output to respond to changing electricity prices and second-to-second frequency regulation needs. 2/
That flexibility is about to become a much more valuable capability as renewable energy penetration increases in power systems across the world, according to my latest research... 3/…
Read 32 tweets
Mar 5, 2018
I was about to head offline for 2 weeks, but I need to respond to this new paper from @ppchef before I go on whether #nuclear can operate flexibly. By coincidence, I just had a peer-reviewed article on this very subject accepted by Applied Energy by today! So here's a thread...
In this new "discussion paper," energy journalist @PPchef takes great pains to demonstrate that nuclear power is too inflexible to pair well with wind & solar in a "decarbonized energy system" & thus must be discarded "to make room" for more #wind & #solar…
I'm going to defer technical discussion of whether nuclear plants (old and new) can ramp or change output to match fluctuations in net demand and contribute to system reliability/flexibility until my paper is released (short answer: they certainly can if doing so is valuable)...
Read 28 tweets

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