Published on September 22nd, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci7
Wicked Green: Massachusetts Clean Economy Grows 11.8% To 80,000 Jobs
With the way Massachusetts’ clean energy economy is growing these days, state residents may need to start celebrating a different kind of green than Boston Celtics jerseys.
The Bay State’s clean energy industry kept booming this year, increasing green jobs by 11.8% from 2012 to 2013, according to the 2013 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.
Green growth has been fast, strong, and diverse across the state, benefitting from smart government policy and a combination of access to finance and cutting-edge research. Add it all up, and you get an economic success story with a sustainable twist.
24% Green Job Growth In Two Years
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report is compiled by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and 2013 is the third year it’s been published. The report tracks the size and growth of green jobs and businesses across the state through direct business surveys and interviews, and defines a clean energy firm or clean energy worker as one engaged in whole or part with clean energy technology.
And make no mistake – Massachusetts’ green economy is growing fast. Since the first report, the state’s clean energy economy has grown 24% and added 15,500 jobs. That’s more than eight times faster than an overall 3% economic growth rate for all industries statewide.
Massachusetts now boasts 79,994 green jobs across 5,557 businesses – 1.9% of all jobs statewide, spread across every corner of the state and nearly every aspect of the clean energy economy. More than half of these firms are small businesses, meaning five or fewer full-time employees, but the majority of job creation came from new businesses and startups.
But even more promising, 27% of employers say they have current openings they expect to fill in the next three months. 83% of green jobs added since 2012 were new positions, and MassCEC forecasts the state will add 8,800 new green jobs over the next year for an 11.1% growth rate and total of 88,874 green jobs statewide.
“We pursue our clean energy agenda because we cannot leave our future to chance,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Our clean energy industry is putting thousands of our residents to work in every corner of the Commonwealth, catalyzing economic growth and creating a healthier Massachusetts.”
A Diverse Green Economy Grows Across Massachusetts
Indeed, while green growth has happened quickly, it’s also developed across a diverse economic pattern meaning the state isn’t reliant on one single industry and is more likely to weather short-term market swings.
Energy efficiency remained Massachusetts’ top clean energy employer, with 46,613 total jobs across 3,002 firms and a 15.9% growth rate. No shocker here, considering the state routinely places first in national energy efficiency rankings, and a big reason why it saw 157% growth in electric energy savings between 2007-2013.
Renewable energy came in a close second to efficiency, employing 30,537 workers at 2,312 companies with a 2.6% growth rate. This area of the clean energy economy definitely cooled off compared to 2011-2012, when it grew 26%, and is surprising considering installed solar capacity grew from 16 megawatts (MW) in 2009 to over 250MW in 2012, and now represents 8,400 workers for 59.7% of all renewable energy jobs.
But the rising star of MassCEC’s 2013 report may be carbon management. This sector ranked third overall with 11,807 green jobs across 489 firms, but grew 19.7% between 2012-2013, bolstered by millions in auction revenue from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This year’s growth is also a big rebound from 2011-2012, when the sector actually shrunk 14%