New Jersey is one of the country's leading states in the solar power industry. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, only 10 states have utilized the renewable energy source more effectively than the northeastern state.
New Jersey continues to excel in solar power
In 2012 alone, there was 414.9 MW of solar power installed, generating enough energy to power 139,000 homes. The average price of residential and commercial solar installation systems in New Jersey have dropped by 27 percent over the course of last year while prices throughout the U.S. have also fallen by 11 percent from last year.
This success has come as a result of state officials working to establish and enhance some of the most enticing solar incentives in the country in order to promote the alternative energy source and expand it throughout the region. The renewable portfolio standards require utilities to ensure that 20.8 percent of the electricity sold to their customers comes from renewable energy resources specified in the RPS by 2021. Of these energy sources, 4.1 percent must come from solar power by 2028, according to DSIRE Solar.
Solar rebates in New Jersey also lead the way in terms of drawing customers into switching to solar power. Consumers using a residential gas supplier and an electric water heater or an Energy Star-qualified solar domestic heater are eligible for a $1,200 rebate per system.
Therefore, the decreasing cost of solar and alluring state policies have made it likely that the renewable energy source will become an increasingly popular option for residential consumers.
NJ goes above and beyond with solar JPods
It's no surprise that solar-powered transportation pods are being developed in New Jersey after all of the state's recent success in the solar industry. This new, environmentally friendly mode of transportation is set to launch in Secaucus, New Jersey after some initial testing. JPods will be an alternative solar-powered method for people who commute on a daily basis, greatly reducing the community's carbon footprint.
Two West Point graduates built the JPod system and are in the process of testing the prototype now. The CEO of JPods, Bill James, is a major supporter of innovative solar power technology in order to end consumers' reliance on oil.
James commented on the fact that the country has been fighting "oil wars" since 1990 and will conitnue to do so for a while, as consumers keep powering their homes with oil. He believes that, at this point, the country has become too comfortable with using oil, according to My9NJ News. He hopes the new JPods will help fix this.
The goal is to have JPod systems running from the Frank Lautenberg Train Station in Secaucus to MetLife Stadium In East Rutherford. The transportation system will be comprised of a rail suspended in the air transporting several JPods that seat as many as five people 24/7.
According to the news source, the method of testing the yellow JPods to be used in the completed product involves trying them out on three wheeled bicycles. The solar power enables the commuter to start the pod by pushing a button for acceleration.
Personal Rapid Transit systems, such as one system in West Virginia used since the 1970s, have been tested for many years. Even some businesses across the globe are constructing PRT systems. There is also one in South Korea, which brings people to an ecological park, another in Abu Dhabi and ground transportation to parking lots at London's Heathrow Airport.
Solar powered PRT systems, however, are a new addition that, if testing is successful, are likely to change the way people commute. Thanks to solar power's bright future, JPods could eventually become an alternative means of transportation to and from New York City, drastically reducing traffic jams during rush hour.