A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found just under half of New Jerseyans, 48%, believe significantly expanding the state’s offshore wind energy should be a major priority for the state. Another 34% said the expansion ought to be a minor priority.
“There is broad, bipartisan agreement that moving forward with offshore wind projects should be a priority. If New Jersey achieves Gov. Murphy’s ambitious goal of generating 3,500 MW of electricity from offshore wind by 2030, it will put the state on a path to a green energy future,” said Tony MacDonald, director of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University.
Of the poll’s 604 respondents, 11% said the expansion should not be a priority.
A majority of Democrats, 66%, told Monmouth pollsters the expansion of wind energy was very important to the state, while 43% of independents and 32% of Republicans said the same.
A super majority of New Jerseyans, 76%, favor the expansion of offshore wind energy. Though that number has fallen slightly from past years, when between 80% and 84% told pollsters the same, supermajorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents said they supported offshore wind projects.
Support for the projects does fall if respondents believe such projects would increase utility rates or otherwise cost voters money.
“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.
But even in that case, a majority of the state’s residents, 58%, back the expansion of wind energy.