A new report by the Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center finds solar power use in New Jersey is growing so quickly, goals once considered lofty for the state are now within reach.

Solar Energy
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David Beavers, campaign organizer for the center, said they believe New Jersey can produce 20 percent of all of its energy needs through solar by the year 2025, "an endeavor that I think is extremely exciting, that would continue to put New Jersey in really a leadership role in transitioning to a clean energy economy."

Beavers said one big part of the Garden State's strong solar presence is the political will in Trenton.

"That political will is just as strong, if not stronger, today than it ever has been," he said.

To that end, the report (called "Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in New Jersey") stated that solar power installations have grown in New Jersey by an average of 66 percent over the past three years.

Environment New Jersey believes the pollution eliminated by getting all that energy from the sun would be the equivalent of tailpipe pollution from 2.6 million cars per year. That would put the Garden State more than three-quarters of the way toward compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. That requires a 43 percent reduction in power plant carbon emissions.

Beavers said New Jersey is now third in the nation in solar installations.

"We can get to 20 percent solar in New Jersey by 2025, and continue to grow and cement our leadership role," he said.

The full report, and more information about this, is available at environmentnewjerseycenter.org.