Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the Massachusetts clean energy sector saw double-digit job growth for the third consecutive year and now employs more than 88,000 workers in the Commonwealth.
The 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, released on Monday at the Boston Green Academy in Brighton, shows that the clean energy sector has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2010 and now includes 88,372 employees and 5,985 businesses. From July 2013 to July 2014, clean energy jobs in Massachusetts grew by 10.5 percent.
“We have long believed that a strong commitment to investing in clean energy would not only provide significant environmental benefits, but would also serve as an economic catalyst in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “This sustained job growth proves our strategy is working and working well.”
The Massachusetts clean energy sector is now a $10 billion industry, responsible for 2.5 percent of Massachusetts’ Gross State Product. Employers are optimistic about the future, predicting a 13.3 percent jump in clean energy employment over the next year, with clean energy employment expected to surpass 100,000 in early 2015.
“The Patrick Administration’s framework and focus on clean energy as an economic driver have positioned the Commonwealth for sustained growth for years to come,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett.
“The clean energy industry is no longer a niche sector of the Massachusetts economy,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton. “It’s a vibrant market with jobs spanning all aspects of the supply chain and across a wide breadth of technologies.”
For the second consecutive year, the southeastern region, with 22 percent job growth, is the fastest growing Massachusetts clean energy economy. Statewide, energy efficiency jobs are the largest segment of the clean energy workplace with 65,000 workers, and energy efficiency employment makes up half of the jobs at clean energy startup companies. Renewable energy employment accounts for 21,000 jobs with more than 12,000 of those jobs related to Massachusetts’ growing solar industry.
“The consistent job growth in the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector over the last four years shows that the combination of forward-thinking clean energy policies and a strong innovation economy is the right way to grow an industry,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “Today’s report proves that the clean energy sector is an economic engine here and is poised to accelerate the region’s economy to global leadership if we continue to lead on smart policies that support this industry.”
Seven years ago, Governor Patrick crafted a clean energy plan for Massachusetts and, with the support of the Legislature, passed three progressive clean energy laws: the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act. These ambitious policies not only sought to set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions but transforming the energy marketplace to create clean energy business opportunities and jobs. In 2007, Massachusetts had 3 megawatts of solar capacity and 3 megawatts of wind capacity. Today there are 643 megawatts of solar and 103 megawatts of wind installed. Massachusetts is number one in the nation for energy efficiency for a third consecutive year according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Massachusetts was ranked by Clean Edge in 2014 as No. 1 in the nation for clean energy policy and clean energy investments per capita.
These strong local policies have driven creation of a highly competitive global cluster in which companies are increasingly selling to international markets. As part of the Patrick Administration’s Innovation Missions abroad, cleantech companies have announced a series of new international business collaborations. Earlier this month, French-based global building materials corporation Saint-Gobain announced it would operate a research and development test facility at Greentown Labs – a cleantech startup business incubator in Somerville. In March, Boston-based Digital Lumens traveled to Mexico alongside the Governor to mark its new partnership with Mexican-based food storage and distribution company Frialsa, which deployed Digital Lumens’ LED lighting system technologies across 10 facilities in nearly one million square feet of space. Boston-based EnerNOC, Inc. and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation announced a joint venture in December 2013 to provide energy efficiency technology to customers in Japan.
The 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, prepared for MassCEC by BW Research Partnership, includes a breakdown of company and employment data by technology sector and geographic region, as well as information on workforce trends.
“WeSpire has thrived in the state of Massachusetts due to unparalleled access to top talent, a robust investment community, and innovative companies willing to be early customers,” said Susan Hunt Stevens, Founder and CEO Boston-based WeSpire. “We’re extremely appreciative of the hard work the Patrick administration has done to help create the most dynamic clean-tech cluster in the world -- and proud to be a part of it.”
“Massachusetts is a great place to start and grow a clean energy company, and the Patrick Administration has made it a priority to lead the nation in energy innovation through the MassCEC and smart legislation,” said Tod Hynes, founder and president of Brighton-based XL Hybrids Inc. “XL Hybrids almost doubled its workforce in 2014 to meet rapid growth in demand for its fuel saving, hybrid electric powertrain technology for commercial fleets. The region’s clean energy ecosystem including MIT and other leading universities and companies is truly world-class.”
“The clean energy sector is one of the most vibrant parts of the Commonwealth, and owes a tremendous debt to the leadership of Governor Patrick and his office and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center team, which have both provided unwavering support, visibility and focus,” said Tom Pincince, president and CEO of Digital Lumens. “Our employee base has more than doubled over the past two years, with a sustained focus on hiring military veterans, in addition to providing career paths for paid interns and co-ops from the Commonwealth’s many colleges and universities.”
“While the world is our marketplace with operations in North America, China and Australia, Boston is our home and we are proud to have added over 30 team members at our global headquarters in Massachusetts over the past year,” said Jim Matheson, CEO of Boston-based Oasys Water Inc. “The innovation and water industry ecosystems here in Massachusetts are second to none, and we have great access to world-class talent and facilities, which makes Boston a great place to build a global water company.”