“At the same time president-elect Donald Trump has loudly promised job creation measures, he has also vowed to invest in fossil fuel expansion, including the coal industry. These two promises are incompatible in the long term. With renewables poised to take the place of a dying coal industry, promoting development of the renewable energy sector is a sure-fire job creator.
In a time when many federal policies are standing on shaky ground, strong state policy has never been more important. In Massachusetts, a commitment to supporting the development of the renewable energy sector will result in new jobs across the state. The first step to supporting clean energy growth is increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Simply put, the RPS sets the amount of renewable energy that electric utilities are required to purchase each year. Currently, the RPS is set at 11 percent and increases by 1 percentage point per year. At that rate, by 2030, only 25 percent of our power will come from clean energy. If we lift the rate to 2 percentage points per year, we would reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, putting us on par with other leading states.
Such an increase would spur local renewable energy production, benefiting not only local clean energy companies, but also the overall state economy. Massachusetts currently spends almost $18 billion per year on energy. It’s money that leaves the state. By shifting to home-grown, renewable energy, we would keep that money in the state while making a dent in our greenhouse gas emission reduction mandates.
The RPS is very important to local renewable energy companies. Plymouth-based Aeronautica Windpower is an all-in-one sales, marketing, manufacturing, and O&M service company that builds and markets wind turbines. As the only wind turbine manufacturer in the state of Massachusetts, Aeronautica has a high stake in the RPS. The more renewable energy utilities are required to purchase, the better clean energy companies do, and the more rapid the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Promoting industry growth through an increased RPS lays the groundwork for significant job creation throughout the state.
With renewable energy expansion comes tremendous in-state employment opportunities. Aeronautica is a member of Climate Action Business Association, a group that aims to build the state’s economy and create jobs through supporting progressive energy policy. Michael Green, the group’s executive director, believes businesses such as Aeronautica are leading the charge towards transitioning the economy. ‘A growing renewables industry will create a surge of new high-tech, low-tech, white-collar, and blue-collar jobs and create a new tax base for the Commonwealth.'”
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