Massachusetts Going "All-Out" on Renewables

Massachusetts clean energy use has grown exponentially over the past decade, and as shown in 2017 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, created over 100,000 clean-energy jobs prompting many leaders in the Commonwealth to continue their commitment to expanding renewable energy development in the state. The intent is that the state will be 100 percent renewable energy dependent by the year 2050, a hefty goal that is being achieved largely in part by the efforts of Governor Charlie Baker.

Following suit with efforts on the West coast, Governor Baker recently proposed a bill to push 1.4 billion dollars into the Clean Peak Standard which would require minimum levels of clean energy supply to be pushed to some of the most expensive portions of Massachusetts grid hours each year. Of this commitment, 170 million dollars would be provided for improvements and repairs to current environmental concerns, such as dams and seawalls, according to a press release from the Governor’s press office. Other aspirations for the Commonwealth in the near future include a target of 1600 MW of solar power installed per year by 2020, more than three times the installations during 2017, and 2,000 MW of wind energy installed per year by 2020. The Senate Committee is pushing to have Massachusetts climb up to par with nearby states such as New York and New Jersey as they are actively expanding into the wind market. The recent bill proposed by Governor Baker aimed to reduce the amount of time between procurements of offshore window power by six months which will help to utilize current federal incentives set to expire soon.

Massachusetts may also be able to learn a thing or two from the neighboring city of Burlington, Vermont, which has reported to achieve 100 percent renewable energy reliance already, with biomass making up the greatest factor of their energy usage. According to Power Technology, Burlington is operating at 44 percent reliance on biomass, along with a mixture of solar, hydro and wind, and has been the first city in the United States to report this achievement. Other top model cities include Reykjavik, Iceland, and Inje, South Korea.
These new proposals and programs come in addition to past efforts implemented by Governor Baker, such as the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan as well as the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program. Advances in technology (such as battery storage) along with a commitment to address the impacts of climate change go a long way to ensuring further clean energy expansion in Massachusetts.

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