Since taking office in 2007, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has made clean energy initiatives a big part of his administration. But have ratepayers gotten much in return for all the state’s green investment in the electric market? They sure have, the state claims in a new report, and within a few years the payoff should be even bigger.
Once fully implemented in 2015, the governor’s office said in releasing the report, initiatives aimed at energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy innovation “are expected to yield total benefits to electric customers of $2.5 billion – nearly two and a half times as great as the $1.1 billion invested to implement them.”
Aside from energy savings, the reported cites economic development and job creation as major benefits from increasing investment in clean energy. Between 2007 and 2010, clean energy jobs increased 65 percent, the report says, with 11,000 people employed in the sector. The number of solar-power related companies alone jumped from 30 to 200 in the past four years, with employment in that sector nearly doubling.
But while Massachusetts is investing heavily in boosting renewable production and related industries, energy efficiency programs will remain the “cheapest new source of electricity,” the report says, while also helping the state in “securing energy independence, keeping energy dollars within the state, improving the environment and reducing carbon emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.”