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Green Is The New Black In Massachusetts

Len Bicknell walks from his house to his garage where his solar energy panels are mounted on the roof in Marshfield, Mass. Bicknell's home is fitted with both thermal panels for hot water production and electric solar panels for energy production. (AP/Stephan Savoia)

Len Bicknell walks from his house to his garage where his solar energy panels are mounted on the roof in Marshfield, Mass. Bicknell’s home is fitted with both thermal panels for hot water production and electric solar panels for energy production. (AP/Stephan Savoia)

Green is the new black in Massachusetts, according to two reports released yesterday on the state’s clean energy industry.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy named Boston the “most energy-efficient city,” beating out Portland, Oregon, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, among others.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center reports that the state employs more than 20,000 people in a diverse range of renewable energy sectors, from bio-energy, to wind, to hydropower. But the majority of those jobs — some 60 percent — are in the solar industry.

We discuss Massachusetts’ place in the green economy with a voice from that field.

Guest

Frank van Mierlo, co-founder and chief executive of 1366 Technologies, a solar wafer-making firm based in Bedford.

More

WBUR “Despite the recent boom, the clean energy sector is still only a small fraction of the overall employment in Massachusetts, making up just 1.9 percent of the workforce.”

The Boston Globe ”Far and away the biggest employment segment was solar, which accounted for nearly 60 percent, or roughly 12,550, of all renewable energy jobs. The solar market has boomed here, attracting companies from around the nation, because of state policies that encourage its growth, including incentive programs and a goal to install 1,600 megawatts of solar generating capacity in the state by 2020 — enough to power up to 400,000 homes. Governor Deval Patrick had previously set the goal at 250 megawatts by 2017, but the state hit that target earlier this year. As of Sept. 1, there were 311 megawatts of solar generating capacity installed.”


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