Contact: Heather Nichols, Rachael Neff, Juli Hanscom – 617-725-4025; Krista Selmi (EEA) –617-626-1109
GOVERNOR PATRICK PROMOTES COMMONWEALTH’S CLEAN ENERGY STRATEGY AT OFFSHORE WIND FORUM IN DENMARK
Discussion with Danish wind energy leaders will help identify and advance areas for partnership in offshore wind and clean energy
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – Governor Deval Patrick today addressed Danish offshore wind industry leaders and government officials at a forum to discuss opportunities to grow the global offshore wind industry, including the emerging industry in Massachusetts. The Governor gave an overview of his Administration’s strategy for increasing the Commonwealth’s clean and renewable energy portfolio and also heard from some of Europe’s foremost leaders in clean energy about the benefits of offshore wind, in particular. Today’s forum is part of the Massachusetts-Denmark Connection, the first stop on Governor Patrick’s Innovation Partnership Mission to Denmark, the United Kingdom and France.
“Offshore wind has enormous potential off Massachusetts’ coast and we are working to ensure the Commonwealth is the national hub for this emerging industry,” said Governor Patrick. “It is essential we establish strong relationships with industry leaders abroad so we can learn from their experience to grow the industry at home.”
The forum focused on what Massachusetts and the rest of the United States could learn from Denmark’s offshore wind experience, and highlighted the significant work done by the Patrick Administration to pave the way for offshore wind activity in the Commonwealth.
“We are excited to forge partnerships today that will help us secure our clean energy future,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “Denmark is a known leader in offshore wind and if we collaborate together, it will not only strengthen the industry on a global scale, but will help us as we begin to build an industry in the United States.”
The Patrick Administration has prioritized investment in clean and renewable energy, recognizing the positive impacts that these investments will have on Massachusetts residents both now and in future generations. The Administration has invested significantly in the construction of the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, the first facility in the Nation designed to support the construction, assembly and deployment of offshore wind projects. Additionally, Cape Wind, expected to be the Nation’s first commercial offshore wind project in America, is located in the waters off Massachusetts. Earlier this year, Governor Patrick joined the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to announce more than 742,000 acres offshore Massachusetts is available for commercial wind energy leasing. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab estimated that this area has the potential to generate between 4,000 to 5,000 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power more than half of the homes in Massachusetts. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the offshore wind industry will employ 43,000 workers by the year 2030.
Earlier today, Governor Patrick participated in a clean energy discussion with Danish government officials and clean tech leaders, sharing Massachusetts’ ambitious clean energy agenda and the successes accomplished in the Commonwealth.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one in energy efficiency in the United States for three years running. Last year, Governor Patrick set a new solar goal to install 1,600 megawatts by 2020, after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts four years early. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the industry in Massachusetts at 5,500 companies.
From September 13 to September 20, the Innovation Partnership Mission is making stops in Copenhagen in Denmark, London in the United Kingdom and in Lyon and Paris, France. The Governor and members of the delegation are meeting with companies and business organizations within these three countries to expand opportunities between the Commonwealth and the European Union for economic development and job creation in the innovation economy, education and transportation sectors.