Sector Continued to Add Jobs Before Pandemic-Induced Losses
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced that the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector continued its trend of upward growth in 2019, adding 2,132 workers to the clean energy workforce between 2018 and 2019. The figures, released as part of MassCEC’s 2020 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, found that the industry employed over 113,968 workers in the Commonwealth through the end of 2019, an increase of 89 percent since 2010.
While the report found continued growth through 2019, the state’s clean energy industry has faced significant impacts from the global COVID-19 pandemic. From March through September 2020, the Massachusetts clean energy industry experienced net losses of roughly 13,900 workers, with significant losses in March and April, followed by modest gains over the summer.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on many industries in the Commonwealth and across the country, Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in advancing the clean energy economy, and we are confident this robust sector of the state’s economy will continue to grow in the years ahead,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Spurred by the aggressive policies set out in the 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan and 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap Report, the clean energy industry is poised to grow in the years to come as we continue to respond and recover from the challenges and impacts of the pandemic.”
“Through our continued investments in education, innovation and entrepreneurship, Massachusetts has built a vibrant clean energy industry,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “The continued strength of this industry contributes jobs, business development and economic opportunities in cities and town across the Commonwealth, and we are committed to supporting its recovery and growth.”
In 2019, the clean energy industry contributed $14.1 billion to the Gross State Product (GSP), accounting for roughly 2.4 percent of the Commonwealth’s GSP. The industry’s contribution to GSP has increased by 54 percent from 2012-2019, outpacing the 34 percent overall growth in the Massachusetts GSP over the same time period.
The report found that the clean energy industry employed residents in every region of Massachusetts, representing over 3 percent of Massachusetts’ workforce. The Southeast region once again saw the highest rate of job growth, with a 2.7 percent increase from 2018 to 2019, followed by the Northeast region, which recorded a 2.4 percent increase. The Northeast region, which includes Boston, made up about 48 percent of total clean energy employment, with over 55,000 workers. Central Massachusetts saw a 0.5% increase in jobs followed by Western Massachusetts which saw a 0.3% increase in jobs.
On March 26, 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate change legislation that codifies into law the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to achieve Net Zero emissions in 2050, authorizes the procurement of an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind, and furthers the Commonwealth’s nation leading efforts to combat climate change and protect vulnerable communities. The legislation was informed by the Baker-Polito Administration’s Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap Report (2050 Roadmap) and 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan (2030 CECP), which outlines the policies and strategies Massachusetts will need to achieve net zero carbon emissions in 2050. To meet the aggressive targets set out in the 2050 Roadmap and the 2030 CECP, the state will need to continue developing a workforce that can deliver the projects, products and services required to build significant offshore wind generation capacity and to electrify transportation and building heat. These sectors will require the influx of thousands of new workers in the coming decades.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to growing the state’s clean energy economy while helping to meet the Commonwealth’s clean energy, climate, and economic development goals. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. MassCEC constructed and operates the Wind Technology Testing Center and the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.