Nearly 52,000 people in New Jersey – about the same as are employed by UPS, Walmart and Verizon combined – make their living in the clean energy sector, bumping the state to the No. 9 spot in the nation.
That’s according to nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), which on Thursday marked one year since the signing of the state’s Clean Energy Act with the release of the Clean Jobs New Jersey report.
Since the annual report was first issued in 2016, clean energy jobs in the state have continued to grow year-over-year.
All 21 counties across the state employ clean energy workers, but the report found Morris boasted the most dense accounting of them as the only county to tally 10 or more per 1,000 employable residents. Meanwhile, Bergen County topped the list for most overall clean energy jobs with 6,426 – a long way away from Salem County, listed 21st with 177 clean energy jobs.
Overall, the report found that two-thirds of clean energy jobs in the state are derived from the field of energy efficiency. Again, in Bergen and Salem the breakdown shows that of the totals reported above, just about 20 percent of jobs were in the renewable energy field.
Looking toward future growth, the report highlights areas of importance which have and continue to contribute to the state’s clean energy industry, including offshore wind (for which Gov. Phil Murphy has set a goal of generating 3,500 megawatts of energy) and solar power (including efforts to reduce costs and the launch of the state’s Community Solar Pilot Program).
Climate and electric vehicles figured prominently in the report, as well. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will launch rulemaking to return the state to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 20220. Beyond that the state is also taking part in the Transportation and Climate Initiative, to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.
New Jersey has also joined the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate transportation electrification, and E2 said is committed to have about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025. This is bolstered by the approximately $72 million the state received in allocated Volkswagen Settlement funds.
Noah Dubin, eastern states advocate for E2, said in a prepared statement that the report “proves that New Jersey’s clean energy economy is open for business.”
“As a network of business leaders, we have seen how smart investments in renewables, energy efficiency, and clean vehicles benefit both the state’s economy and its environment. Now, after a landmark year of progress on policies that support jobs in solar, offshore wind, and energy efficiency, New Jersey’s clean energy businesses are reaping the rewards of a stronger economy,” he added.
The full report can be viewed here.