Survey Says New Jersey Residents Still Strongly In Favor of Offshore Wind Energy Development
Despite the President’s public outcry against renewable energy, a poll conducted by Monmouth University shows New Jersey residents are still strongly in favor of offshore wind energy development. Over three-quarters, (76%) of NJ residents say they are in favor of offshore wind energy development while only 15% are opposed.
Nearly half say that wind energy development should be a major priority for the state in the coming decade. Support for wind farms decreases, though, if electricity rates were to go up because of a greater investment in wind energy.
“This could be tricky for clean energy advocates. Support for wind energy could drop once New Jersey ratepayers become aware of any development costs they will have to bear. However, they could become more willing to shoulder some of that investment if they are convinced it will lead to real environmental benefits,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Very few (19%) New Jersey residents believe that electricity rates would be higher in 10 years if they install offshore wind farms while 35% believe they will be lower in 10 years and another 35% believe they will stay the same. There is a similar split by age: 53% of those aged 18 to 34 would favor offshore wind farm development while 36% of those aged 35 to 54 and 35% of people 55 and older would favor it.
The Monmouth University Poll also finds that New Jerseyans are not enthusiastic about some other possible options to meet the state’s energy needs. Just 3-in-10 Garden State residents (30%) favor drilling for oil and gas off the state’s coast while twice as many (61%) oppose it.
Expanding nuclear power is also not a popular option in New Jersey. Only one-quarter of New Jerseyans (26%) would favor building another nuclear power plant in the state while two-thirds (67%) would oppose it.
“There seems to be a recognition that the long-term economic and environmental benefits of investing in clean, renewable energy sources outweigh any short-term costs. At the same time, New Jerseyans no longer seem willing to accept the environmental risks of offshore drilling and nuclear power as a price for lowering their energy costs,” said MacDonald of the Urban Coast Institute.
New Jersey passed legislation in 1999 to deregulate their energy market in another attempt to lower electricity prices for their residents. Today, many NJ residents are able to find savings by switching their electricity supply rate off their utility to a 3rd party provider. Here are some of the NJ utility areas where there are savings.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from February 8 to 10, 2019 with 604 New Jersey adults. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ. Carolyn Lau, Research Associate at the Polling Institute, contributed to the analysis in this report.
Aaron is a content writer and organic marketer with extensive experience in the energy industry. He frequently writes for Power Target on Electricityrates.com and CompareElectricity.com.
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