Wicked Green: Massachusetts Clean Economy Grows 11.8% To 80,000 Jobs

by Silvio Marcacci – Special to JBS News
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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.

2013 Massachusetts green economy
2013 Massachusetts green economy image via MassCEC

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 state-wide.

Massachusetts green job growth
Massachusetts green job growth chart via MassCEC

Massachusetts now boasts 79,994 green jobs across 5,557 businesses – 1.9% of all jobs state-wide, 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 state-wide.

“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.

Massachusetts green economy
Massachusetts green economy chart via MassCEC

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%.

This article, Wicked Green: Massachusetts Clean Economy Grows 11.8% To 80,000 Jobs, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate-focused public relations company based in Washington, D.C.

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Nearly 40,000 New Green Jobs Created Across America During 2Q 2013

By Silvio Marcacci — Special to JBS News

Clean energy and sustainable transportation projects launched this year created nearly 40,000 new green jobs in America during the second quarter (2Q) of 2013.

From renewables to energy efficiency and public transportation, America’s transition to a clean energy economy is well underway, reports the latest green jobs report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

E2’s 2013 second quarter clean energy and transportation jobs report tracks job announcements from private companies, elected officials, and media outlets to paint a picture of economic growth that’s outpacing the overall economy and creating a sustainable future – for America’s economy and environment.

Top 10 US green jobs map 2Q 2013

Top 10 US green jobs 2Q 2013 map via Environmental Entrepreneurs

38,600 Green Jobs Across Nearly 60 Projects

Nearly 60 projects were either announced or launched in 27 states during 2Q 2013, according to E2’s report. These projects will create 38,600 green jobs, slightly higher than the 37,400 green jobs E2 tracked in 2Q 2012, and on pace to surpass the 110,000 total green jobs created in 2012.

Renewable energy generation was led by solar power and wind energy, representing 31 projects and nearly half of the total green jobs outlook, with more than 13,300 new openings – more than any other sector.

Solar energy projects represented a whopping 10,400 green jobs, equaling 75% of all power generation and 25% of all green jobs. Not to be outdone, wind energy projects chipped in more than 2,500 new positions, up from just 800 in the first quarter.

Public transportation and smart grid/transmission projects followed closely behind renewables, with 9,600 and 8,200 jobs respectively, while energy efficiency rounded out the pack with 5,700 jobs announced.

Interestingly, E2’s analysis didn’t seem to include the fast-growing green building industry, which represented 44% of all US construction jobs in 2012 and could top $140 billion in annual revenue in 2013, according to a recent report from the US Green Building Council.

Economic Growth Without Geographic Or Political Boundaries

Unsurprisingly, California led all states in both total green jobs and projects announced during 2Q. The “epicenter of the US clean tech market” tallied 12 total wind, solar, biofuels, and transportation projects creating 9,169 total jobs.

Top 10 US green jobs list 2Q 2013

Top 10 US green jobs 2Q 2013 list via Environmental Entrepreneurs

Newcomers managed to shake up the top ten list of green jobs by state, disregarding political affiliations and rural versus urban demographics. Hawaii surged into second place with 5,000 new positions on the strength of a $300 million government building energy efficiency effort, and Maryland ranked third with 4,400 total jobs propelled by a $2.6 billion, 20-station, 14-mile Baltimore light rail project.

Once again, good economics knows no political boundaries, with new projects and new jobs springing up in Republican and Democratic congressional districts. Several districts saw multiple project announcements, but California’s 51st district led the way with 901 total jobs, more than double the second-place showing of 414 green jobs in Nevada’s 3rd district.

Toward A Green Economic Future?

But the best may be yet to come, as President Obama formulates the specific details of his climate change mitigation plan. A recent analysis of the economic impacts of cutting carbon by the Natural Resources Defense Council found cutting carbon from power plants alone could create 210,000 jobs – let alone what stable policy for renewable energy could do.

So as America gets ready to enjoy the Labour Day holiday, it’s important to once again consider the potential of a clean energy economy. Green jobs help build a better future in every regard – cleaner air, a healthier environment, and stable jobs.

This article, Nearly 40,000 New Green Jobs Created Across America During 2Q 2013, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate-focused public relations company based in Washington, D.C.