Director, Green Communities Division, Department of Energy Resources (DOER)
The recent Fourth of July holiday marked the 235th anniversary of America’s independence. From California to Maine, long-standing traditions of parades, fireworks, and family cookouts were observed over the extended weekend. With the holiday in our rear-view mirror, it is worth taking a minute to consider, and take pride in, the advancements Massachusetts has made towards another type of independence: the freedom from the reliance on imported fuels or energy sources through the generation of homegrown, clean, renewable energy.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the state of being independent as ’not requiring or relying on something else’ and ‘not subject to control by others’. Each day in Massachusetts, government officials, public and private organizations and businesses, universities, and inspired individuals are working hard to ensure the state breaks free of the costly shackles of our energy dependence. Currently this dependence means sending nearly $18 billion, or 80 percent, of our energy spending out of Massachusetts, largely out of the country. In just the past four years, the Commonwealth has made tremendous strides along a pathway to a cleaner energy future. The state’s clean energy investments are expected to create up to 48,000 jobs in Massachusetts by 2020 and have earned Massachusetts a top-tier ranking in the U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index .
In a recent video featuring Governor Deval Patrick, the Financial Times highlighted the widespread efforts that have positioned the state to thrive in the burgeoning renewable energy marketplace.
View the video: Massachusetts reaps a wind and solar harvest
So this year, celebrate America’s first hard-won independence. Then take a moment to be proud of the Commonwealth’s investments in clean energy, which will create a new form of independence. While there is still much more work to be done, together we are building a cleaner and more secure energy future for generations to come.