Massachusetts Adds Over 6,300 Clean Energy Jobs

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Kathryn Niforos
Clean Energy Employment Surpasses 100,000 for First Time
Dec 15, 2016 –

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced that the Commonwealth added 6,317 clean energy jobs and has surpassed 100,000 clean energy jobs statewide for the first time, currently 105,212. The figures, released as part of MassCEC’s 2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, show the Bay State clean energy sector maintained a strong growth rate of six percent between 2015 and 2016. The report also found that the number of clean energy jobs in Massachusetts has increased by 75 percent since 2010.   

“The Commonwealth’s highly educated and well-trained workforce makes it an attractive place for innovative industries, including clean energy companies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts’ recently passed comprehensive energy diversification legislation will continue to build on the recent success of the clean energy industry by increasing opportunities for growth and advancement.”

“The Clean Energy Industry Report clearly shows that the booming clean energy sector is a pivotal jobs creator within the Commonwealth and a driving force for diversifying our energy sources,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to continuing our support of Massachusetts’ robust clean energy sector and making these benefits accessible to residents throughout the Commonwealth.”

The report found that clean energy is an $11.8 billion industry in Massachusetts, and represents 2.5 percent of the Commonwealth’s Gross State Product. Clean energy jobs represent 2.9 percent of the overall workforce in the state, the report found. The clean energy industry employs residents of every region in Massachusetts.  Jobs grew over the past year in each of the state’s regions, with the largest growth coming in Northeastern Massachusetts (8.8%) and Southeastern Massachusetts (8.2%).

“The continued strength of Massachusetts’ clean energy industry continues to bring innovation, energy savings and environmental benefits to communities across the state,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to work with our partners in the clean energy industry to reduce costs to ratepayers, usage and emissions as we work to achieve our Global Warming Solutions Act goals.”

“The clean energy industry in Massachusetts continues to see strong job growth while helping to drive the state’s vibrant innovation economy,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The clean energy sector is fueled by the economic activity of small businesses, universities, nonprofits, technologists and entrepreneurs hard at work on addressing our most pressing energy challenges.”

“The continued growth and success of the Commonwealth’s clean energy industry is a vital component of developing a diversified energy portfolio that reduces energy costs, usage and emissions,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “The recently passed comprehensive energy diversification legislation will ensure that Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in clean energy jobs and innovation.”

The report found that Massachusetts installed 25,390 renewable energy projects in 2016, adding an additional 374 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity in the process, enough to power 56,040 homes. The Commonwealth also remains first in the United States for per-capita early-stage clean energy venture investment, beating out California. Early stage investment in Massachusetts clean energy companies grew 166% over the previous year.

The report, prepared for MassCEC by BW Research Partnership, also found Massachusetts to be the national leader in early-stage clean energy investment. Overall, public and private investment in the industry exceeded $658 million.

In August, Governor Baker signed bipartisan comprehensive energy diversification legislation that promotes the administration’s commitment to reducing energy costs while strengthening the state’s clean energy economy and progressing towards Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas reduction requirements. The legislation requires utilities to competitively solicit and contract for approximately 1,200 megawatts (MW) of clean hydropower and approximately 1,600MW of offshore wind. In an effort to enhance ratepayer savings associated with the procurement of renewable energy resources, the bi-partisan legislation authorizes the use of energy storage technologies paired with renewable power generation, making Massachusetts only the third state in the nation to authorize the procurement of energy storage.

“The 2016 Clean Energy Industry Report clearly illustrates that making our clean energy future a priority through statewide policies has helped grow a robust industry here in Massachusetts,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “I am proud of the work we have done and we will continue to move the Commonwealth forward on path that protects our environment and creates jobs for our residents.”

“The strong growth in clean energy jobs since 2010 continues to bolster our economy, provide well-paying jobs and protect our environment,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “With the passage of the 2016 landmark energy law we will continue to see growth in this sector, which I believe will help Massachusetts attract new companies, retain talent and support our hardworking taxpayers.”

“For a decade, Massachusetts has shown that acting on climate change is good for the economy and the environment,” said State Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield). “Now, more than any time in that past decade, state leadership is critical to continue, and build on, the progress we've made. I'm excited to see clean energy continue to create jobs from Pittsfield to Provincetown and everywhere in between.”

“The Commonwealth’s clean energy sector had yet another standout year,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy.  “I commend all of the hardworking individuals who make up our thriving green economy, as well as the collaborative efforts between the administration and legislature to propel the Commonwealth forward into a clean energy future.”

“Through our leadership in the clean energy sector we are seeing major dividends in the form of good jobs in an emerging industry cluster,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). ”By supporting clean and renewable energy source we are also supercharging our economy through added jobs and business development.”

“Crossing the plateau of 100,000 clean energy jobs is a milestone for the Commonwealth and a testament to the Baker-Polito Administration’s decision to prioritize and promote the development of more clean and renewable energy,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “With the clean energy policies that have been implemented by the Administration and the Legislature, this important sector of the state’s economy will continue to grow, creating jobs and providing consumers with more opportunities for savings.”

“With another year of steady job growth in the clean energy sector, and with job growth in maturing sectors such as efficiency and solar being replicated in new areas such as storage and our active startup community, Massachusetts again shows that by leading in clean energy policy, innovation and market development, it can accelerate the state's energy transition and prove that clean energy can be both a climate solution and a driver of economic prosperity,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein 

“Through the support of MassCEC and other investors, we’ve been able to directly create about 15 jobs this year in Massachusetts alone,” said Bevi CEO Sean Grundy. “The roles range from entry-level to executive and span engineering, sales, and logistics - the whole spectrum of positions we need to create a bottle-free beverage supply chain.”

“We’ve been incredibly busy with wind, solar, and hydropower projects, and have benefitted from partnering with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program,” said SWCA Environmental Consultants Director Julie Marcus. “Together, we’re helping prepare the next generation of clean energy professionals. Continuing this trend of workforce development will be the key to meeting the growing demand we are seeing from our clients.”

“Many of our students at BHCC have benefitted from the Mass CEC Internship program,” said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger. “The program provides community college students access to potential careers in clean energy and clean technology innovation.”