Despite the continuing right-wing pursuit of fossil fuels (to the detriment of the environment), solar energy is moving forward in the U.S. - particularly in New Jersey, which installed more solar power than any other state this year. Now, a new N.J. bill has passed that will further enhance solar development in the state, and perhaps encourage job growth there as well.
This summer, New Jersey's General Assembly passed S1925/A2966, otherwise referred to as the "revolution bill," which "could sustain solar project development and job growth at a healthy rate in the Garden State," said Greentech Media's Eric Wesoff.
The bill calls for a required increase in solar power installations in a state that already ranks number one in solar energy this year. This would be achieved by increasing the requirement of New Jersey's renewable portfolio standard, which already demands that a certain amount of energy generated by the state each year be solar.
"The bill could double the megawatts of solar installed in New Jersey in the next few years," Wesoff added.
And an uptick in solar installations will necessitate the need for more workers, advocates believe, generating jobs.
The U.S. overall installed 506 megawatts of solar power during the first quarter of 2012, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
In a state that endures toxic dumping and environmental poisoning, it is perhaps a pleasant surprise for environmentalists and clean energy supporters to see New Jersey come leaps and bounds in the solar energy department.
"New Jersey is [currently] leading the solar industry in this country," wrote columnist Christian Schoning. Advancing the clean energy industry in general and strengthening focus on it in this state, he added, "can create jobs, clean our air, set an example at the national level for renewable energy incentives, and maybe, just maybe, work at turning the stereotype of 'Dirty Jersey' on its head."
Photo: Solar panels at the New Jersey Army National Guard Joint Training and Training Development Center, covering 71,000 square feet of the building's roof. Flickr