New Jersey’s solar industry is facing a crisis, and thousands of jobs will be lost in a matter of weeks unless the state’s Legislature takes action.
According to Abby Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in a NJ Spotlight Op-Ed, New Jersey is the fifth-largest solar state in the nation. In fact, its robust solar market resulted in the installation of 357 megawatts of solar and the creation of 1,100 solar jobs last year alone, bringing in $8.3 billion of investment. This success is partly due to the New Jersey’s current renewable energy goal, requiring 4.1 percent of the state’s electricity come from solar by 2021.
Unfortunately, the solar energy required to meet the current clean-energy obligations drops significantly next year — down 55 percent to 57 megawatts. This policy change could cause the state’s now-burgeoning solar sector to crash; hurting hundreds of local businesses and the thousands of families depending on them.
A new energy bill is currently circulating in the NJ House and Senate, with a provision that by 2021, 5.1 percent of the state’s electricity (instead of the current 4.1 percent) come from solar. This legislation protects the jobs of New Jersey’s 7,100-strong solar workforce and allows the state’s already-strong solar market to continue growing. We join SEIA in urging NJ lawmakers to act quickly and pass this provision to avoid the loss of thousands of solar jobs.
To read the complete Op-Ed, ‘Legislature Must Act To Save Solar Industry,’ click here.