New Jersey officials have announced a new goal to power more than three million homes using offshore wind energy by the year 2035.
The state is attempting to deal with a worsening climate crisis caused by fossil fuel use and also capitalize on a booming new clean energy industry.
“Here’s my message to the skeptics and the climate deniers, and it really is this simple: offshore wind is a win for our environment, a win for our economy, and a win for our future,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at an event in Jersey City on Tuesday.
The move is part of the state’s goal to transition to a completely clean-energy economy by 2050.
Former Vice President and climate activist Al Gore, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s event, said dealing with climate change was the defining global issue of our time.
“There must be no mistake. This is [the Battle of] Thermopylae. This is [the Battle of] Agincourt. This is Pearl Harbor. This is [the Battle of] Midway. This is the Battle of the Bulge. This is 9/11,” Gore said. “We have to rise to this challenge. We have to change.”
In June, state regulators approved the first application for a wind farm off the Jersey Shore, which is expected to start generating power in five years.
Murphy said increasing offshore wind capacity would also create opportunities to shift the state’s transportation sector — which produces nearly half of New Jersey’s greenhouse gas emissions — toward electrification.
According to officials, the offshore wind industry will create thousands of jobs across the state.