Government investment and support for clean, renewable energy development is paying off handsomely in Massachusetts, where the clean energy economy grew 11.2% between July 2011 and July 2012. The state’s fast-growing clean energy sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy businesses across the state, according to a Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) report released Aug. 16.
“I have said from the beginning of this Administration that, if we get clean energy right, the world will be our customer,” Governor Deval Patrick, who’s serving his second term in office, stated in a press release. “This past year’s 11.2 percent increase in clean energy jobs means that we are getting it right and the world knows it.
“Investing in our nation-leading clean energy agenda is the right thing to do for our environment, our energy independence, our public health and our economic vitality. We owe it to our future to keep this momentum going strong.”
Investing in Clean Energy Paying Off for Massachusetts
The 11.2% economic growth rate for Massachusetts’ clean energy sector is well above that of even rapidly industrializing countries, such as China. The 71,523 people employed at clean energy businesses recorded by MassCEC in its latest annual report are working in jobs directly related to the state’s clean energy sector. Signs indicate the growth will continue.
“Employers surveyed are optimistic about the coming year and expect to hire more workers in 2013,” MassCEC states in its press release. “Clean energy continues to maintain its place as one of the Commonwealth’s marquee industries, with 1.7 percent of the total Massachusetts workforce.”
MassCEC found that the state’s clean energy sector is a diversified one, with businesses involved in construction and manufacturing to research and development. In its “2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report,” MassCEC also “identified a large number of companies that don’t necessarily identify themselves as clean energy companies first, but directly engage in activity related to the clean energy sector — showing that clean energy penetrates numerous sectors of the Massachusetts economy.”
“This report is proof that Massachusetts’ innovation economy is succeeding,” said incoming MassCEC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Alicia Barton McDevitt, who begins her term on August 20.
“The report affirms Massachusetts’ role as a national and global leader in clean energy development and deployment, and a success made possible by our talented workforce, world-class academic and research institutions, and Governor Patrick’s vision for a clean energy future in Massachusetts.”
For the report, a clean energy business “is defined as an employer engaged in whole or in part in providing goods and services related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, and carbon management. Clean energy workers are defined as spending at least a portion of their time supporting the clean energy aspects of their businesses.”
Prepared by BW Research Partnership on behalf of MassCEC, the Massachusetts “2012 Clean Energy Industry Report” includes breakdowns of companies and employment by technology sector and geographic region, as well as information on workforce trends.
Photo Credit: Borrego Solar
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.