Renewable energy in Massachusetts had a banner year in 2016, growing to an $11.8 billion market. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) 2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report showed that the renewable energy industry maintained a 6 percent growth rate, adding 6,317 clean energy jobs statewide between 2015 and 2016 and growing to 105,212 workers.
The renewables industry installed 25,390 clean energy projects totaling 374 megawatts across the state during 2016. Renewable industry growth is expected to accelerate even more in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed a bipartisan bill in August that requires utilities throughout the state to contract 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy resources like hydropower, solar and offshore wind resources. The legislation also makes Massachusetts the third state nationally to procure power storage technology through a competitive bidding process.
“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 (R). “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.” For instance, the report also found that investment in early-stage renewable energy companies in Massachusetts has grown 166 percent since 2010, surpassing such investments even in California.
Massachusetts’ renewable energy industry explosion is at the vanguard, so its jobs growth shouldn’t be a surprise and reflects nationwide trends. According to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015, with 208,859 jobs across the US, solar surpassed employment in the oil and gas industry. The census also predicts that an additional 30,000 solar energy industry jobs would be created during 2016.
Solar, wind and hydropower are not the only industries benefiting from high employment growth rates in the renewable and energy efficiency space. According to a report by Environmental Entrepreneurs and E4TheFuture, the renewable energy industry supports an estimated 1.9 million US jobs across multiple industries including not just energy generation, but also energy efficiency and companies that install windows, insulation and/or heating and cooling systems,
“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 Massachusetts 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.”Tweet