Currently, 44 percent of New Jersey’s electricity comes from nuclear generating plants like Oyster Creek and Salem Creek. This source is second to only natural gas. Renewable sources of energy like solar power and wind energy comprise only 3 percent of the state’s electricity production.
Many of us do not give much thought to how our electricity is generated and the specific risks and benefits of each production method. In addition to the methods listed above, coal, petroleum, and hydroelectric generation can also supply the electricity we need to power our society.
Is New Jersey Too Dependent on Nuclear Power?
In comparison to other states, New Jersey is very dependent on nuclear power. As a whole, nuclear power generates approximately 20 percent of our nation’s electricity. The fact that New Jersey generates much of its electricity from nuclear power is not necessarily an issue – that many of our nuclear plants are aging and may need to be closed within the next few years is. The oldest operating commercial nuclear plant in the nation, Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Forked River, is scheduled to be closed permanently in 2019. The United States Department of Energy recently reported that as many as 100 nuclear plants could shut down in the next few years. Since 2015, competition from natural gas plants has caused six nuclear plants to close their doors.
Nuclear power has many benefits for New Jersey. The electricity it provides is 98 percent emission-free. In states where nuclear plants closed and were replaced by fossil fuel providers, electricity prices rose while the air quality fell. Closing New Jersey’s nuclear plants could also be disastrous to its working population and the towns that rely on nuclear plants’ tax revenue to fund public projects. More than 2,700 people currently work in New Jersey’s nuclear generating plants, earning an annual $335 million.
Other Ways to Generate Electricity
Here is a quick breakdown of how our neighboring states primarily generate their electricity according to the United States Energy Information Administration:
- Pennsylvania: nuclear power;
- Connecticut: nuclear power;
- New York: natural gas;
- Delaware: natural gas; and
- Maryland: nuclear power.
In other regions of the country, nuclear power is not as widely used. In Colorado, Arizona, and Utah, coal is the top source of electricity. In the Pacific Northwest, hydroelectric generation is the top electricity producer. New Jersey has the potential to source its electricity from renewable wind energy if the state’s Board of Public Utilities grants the licenses for private wind energy producers to move forward with constructing wind farms.
Work with Our Team of Experienced Electrical Technicians
Society needs electricity. There are many ways to generate this electricity, some more effective and less harmful than others. Issues related to how companies in the state generate electricity trickle down to homeowners like you in the form of service quality and electricity costs. To discuss specific issues related to electricity use in your home, speak with an experienced electrical technician from Team Electric Plumbing & Air in Manalapan. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation with one of our electricians.