February 10, 2017

2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report Released

Mitali Mirle and Ben Vanderlan, Strategic Analysis Fellows

On a chilly December morning in Charlestown, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center released its 2016 Annual Clean Energy Industry Report.

The clean energy sector in Massachusetts has seen strong growth over the last year.  The Commonwealth hit a significant milestone this year, as it surpassed 100,000 clean energy workers for the first time. Massachusetts now employs 105,212 workers in the clean energy industry while serving as home to 6,714 establishments. Massachusetts has been an active leader in adopting clean energy and this, in turn, has had a significant impact on the economy and workforce of the state.

Since 2010, Massachusetts has seen consistent growth with respect to the clean energy economy in all aspects, from energy efficiency to alternative transportation, and from early stage research and development to deployed technologies. Furthermore, Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in energy efficiency.

Not only does the clean energy economy contribute $11.8 billion to the Massachusetts Gross State Product — a 2.5 percent share of the state economy — but its employees account for 2.9 percent of the state’s labor market. Since 2010, the number of clean energy jobs has increased dramatically — 45,000 new clean energy jobs have been added, a 75 percent increase since 2010.

These are also well paying jobs. Almost 70% of the sector’s full-time workers earn at least $50,000 annually. As a comparison, the median wage across all jobs in Massachusetts is $45,573. Clean energy establishments have also closed more rounds of financing and have attracted more public, private and early-stage dollars and deals in the past year, with public and private investment exceeding $658 million!  The Commonwealth has remained number one in the country for per-capita clean energy venture investment, outpacing California.

High growth rates and expansion of workforce in the industry can be attributed to the extent of projects that have been installed and conducted all over the state. This includes advanced manufacturing, legal and professional services as well as innovation.  In the past year, 25,390 renewable energy projects were installed in Massachusetts, which added 374 megawatts of electric capacity, enough to power 56,040 homes. Massachusetts also ranks fourth in the nation in total installed solar capacity despite its relatively small size.