Carbon-free electric supply is possible for New Jersey, said Jesse Jenkins

Written by
Molly Seltzer, Office of Communications
April 5, 2022

Jesse Jenkins, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, recently met with New Jersey state lawmakers to discuss the goal of achieving a 100% carbon-free power supply by 2050. 

Jenkins leads the Princeton ZERO lab, which recently modeled pathways that show that meeting New Jersey’s goal of procuring a carbon-free electric supply by mid-century is possible, even as peak electric demand is anticipated to grow. The ZERO lab conducts research to improve decision-making to accelerate rapid, affordable and effective transitions to net-zero carbon energy systems.

“The goal of this study is to provide an independent, detailed assessment of key technology and policy options and choices, and their implications as we chart the path to 100% clean electricity,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins told legislators that the lowest-cost option would take advantage of New Jersey’s membership in a multi-state electric grid called the PJM Interconnect. The grid, made up of numerous utilities and power producers, stretches through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland to North Carolina, and as far west as parts of Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. 

The findings are encapsulated in the new study “New Jersey’s Pathway to a 100% Carbon-Free Electricity Supply: Policy and Technology Choices Through 2050.”

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