Clean Energy Industry Adds Over 1,500 Jobs in Massachusetts

Stephen Pike

BOSTON–The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced the state’s clean energy sector has continued its trend of upward growth, adding more than 1,500 workers to the clean energy workforce between 2017 and 2018.

The figures, released as part of MassCEC’s 2018 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, found that the industry now employs over 110,700 workers in the Commonwealth, an increase of 1.4 percent since 2017 and 84 percent since 2010.

“Massachusetts’ clean energy industry is a critical sector for the Commonwealth’s nation-leading leading innovation economy and we are pleased to see continued job growth in this year’s report,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud of our standing as the most energy efficient state in the country and a leader in the emerging offshore wind industry, and look forward to continuing our work to secure a reliable, diverse and affordable energy portfolio for the Commonwealth.”

“The clean energy industry in Massachusetts has created thousands of local jobs and driven economic development across the state while helping us meet our ambitious climate goals,”said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration remains committed to supporting this vibrant sector of the Massachusetts economy and working with clean energy employers across the state to develop a workforce that can meet the needs of this diverse industry.”

The clean energy industry saw robust growth in its contribution to Massachusetts’ Gross State Product (GSP), increasing 15 percent between 2017 and 2018 to contribute over $13 billion to the statewide economy, making up about 2.5 percent of the GSP.

The report found that the clean energy industry employs residents in every region of Massachusetts and makes up about 3.1 percent of the Massachusetts workforce. The Southeast region saw the most job growth, with a 5.9 percent increase from 2017 to 2018, followed by the Western region, which recorded a 2.4 percent increase. The Northeast region, which includes Boston, makes up about 48 percent of total clean energy employment, with over 53,000 workers. Central Massachusetts saw a 5.4 percent growth in total clean energy establishments, as well as a 1.1 percent increase in jobs.

“A thriving clean energy workforce is critical to the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to promote the deployment of clean energy technologies while lowering energy costs for Massachusetts residents,” said Energy and Environment Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As we continue to work towards our nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction targets, the clean energy industry will play an important role in developing technology advancements and innovative solutions while growing the state’s economy.”

“The clean energy industry continues to create quality jobs across Massachusetts,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “With over 110,000 workers across the Commonwealth in a variety of occupations, including installation, efficiency, demand management and manufacturing, clean energy represents a significant segment of the Massachusetts workforce.”

“The strength of the clean energy economy in Massachusetts is representative of this administration’s commitment to being a national leader in solar, energy efficiency, energy storage, offshore wind and more,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “We look forward to seeing sustained growth as DOER continues to implement clean energy initiatives that support our local economies resulting in job creation, advanced technology innovation, lower emissions and energy cost savings.”

Other findings show that installation-related jobs are the largest source of clean energy employment, making up 30,057 jobs, followed closely by sales & distribution with 27,471 jobs. The fastest growing component of the clean energy workforce was engineering & researching, adding more than 2,400 jobs, a 2.7 percent increase.

The release of this report builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy industry, including recently securing 9,450,000MWh of hydroelectric energy and 800MW of offshore wind energy, the largest procurement in offshore wind by any state in the country. In August, Governor Baker signed legislation that will ensure Massachusetts remains a national leader in clean energy while reducing costs to ratepayers. The bill, An Act to Advance Clean Energy (H.4857), includes the Governor’s proposal to create the first Clean Peak Standard in the country, increases the Commonwealth’s energy storage target to 1,000 megawatt hours (MWh), increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard, expands the Mass Save® programs to allow for strategic electrification and other clean energy technologies, and authorizes the Department of Energy Resources to require an additional 1,600 megawatt (MW) of offshore wind to be procured by the electric distribution companies in Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in clean energy policy, which not only helps to protect our environment but drives our local economies – creating jobs and lasting careers for workers across our Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “The $13 billion Massachusetts clean energy industry fuels jobs from engineering and sales to installation and manufacturing, and the House is proud of its work over the years to support this vibrant and innovative sector.”

“The 2018 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report illustrates how taking action for the environment can create opportunity for the economy,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester).  “Our collective efforts to pursue strategies to reduce consumption and increase our renewable energy portfolio is leading the nation on a bold new path and developing jobs right here in our communities.”

“With over 100,000 clean energy workers in the Commonwealth, the state continues to add green jobs at an impressive rate,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “Even as we celebrate our success we look to the next steps in our clean energy future, and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the Legislature and Administration as we continue to push forward.”

“The clean energy industry in Massachusetts has been enjoying strong job growth over the last decade, and it’s encouraging to see that trend continue,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).  “With forward-thinking policies emphasizing the development of clean and renewable energy sources, Massachusetts is well-positioned to see even more job creation within this important sector of the state’s economy moving forward.”