Study: NJ Need improved Energy Infrastructure

Monday, 12 Dec 2011 04:36 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New Jersey should establish a support system for those who would consider using alternative-fuel vehicles, says the latest version of the state’s Energy Master Plan, which could help encourage people to conserve energy, prevent pollution, and help the state attract grant money, said Sunday.
The plan didn’t provide many details about how the proposal would work. Some clean energy advocates have been frustrated by New Jersey’s lack of infrastructure, which in turn they say has kept state residents from turning away from gas or diesel-powered vehicles.
“It sounds like a great idea,” said Matt Elliott, clean energy advocate for Environment New Jersey. “The technology is there for the electric vehicle, but not the infrastructure. New Jersey is well suited to build the infrastructure because it is so densely populated and so small.”
The state’s draft energy plan suggests New Jersey should encourage owners of fleets of vehicles, such as taxis, to switch over to natural gas, 
The state’s recommendation needs to be broadened and deepened, says a working group that assessed the opportunities of switching to a variety of alternatives, including: electricity, natural gas, propane, and biodiesel.
A transportation infrastructure bank would work with the environmental infrastructure fund, which helps local governments finance upgrades to sewage treatment plants through low-interest loans floated by a revolving loan fund.
Other states have created pools of money to help convert fleets to electrical vehicles or compressed natural gas. New York has $44 million set aside for these efforts in assorted programs run by the state, city, and other agencies.

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