Massachusetts is investing heavily in clean energy initiatives.
The commonwealth has been a national leader in terms of investing in companies that pursue reliable power sources such as solar, wind and water, according to the 2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.
Early-stage investments in clean energy companies in the state grew 166 percent from the previous year, beating out California, a state that often dominates when it comes to promotingenvironmentally friendly technologies.
The commonwealth added more than 6,300 clean energy jobs this year, according to anannual reportreleased Thursday by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a publicly-funded agency that works to promote clean energy efforts in the state.
That's a growth rate of 6 percent between 2015 and 2016. The previous year, there was an 11.9 percent increase in clean energy jobs — the largest jump since MassCECbegan tracking these numbers in 2010.
Clean energy refers to sources of power that emit little, if any, greenhouse gases — unlike fossilfuels. They're also renewable sources, such as solar panels and wind farms.
"The continued strength of Massachusetts’ clean energy industry continues to bring innovation, energy savings and environmental benefits to communities across the state,” Matthew Beaton, secretary of Energy andEnvironmental Affairs, said in a statement
Massachusetts installedmore than 25,000 renewable energy projects in 2016. Those projects added enough electrical capacity to power 56,040 homes, according to the report.
The report also showed that the commonwealth was a leader in the country in terms of investing early in clean energy initiatives.
"For a decade, Massachusetts has shown that acting on climate change is good for the economy and the environment,” state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, said in a statement.“Now, more than any time in that past decade, state leadership is critical to continue, and build on, the progress we've made. I'm excited to see clean energy continue to create jobs from Pittsfield to Provincetown and everywhere in between.”
Clean energy isan $11.8 billion industry in Massachusetts and all clean energy jobs — now more than 100,000 thanks to this year's increase — account for 2.9 percent of all stateworkforce.
"The Clean Energy Industry Report clearly shows that the booming clean energy sector is a pivotal jobs creator within the commonwealth and a driving force for diversifying our energy sources,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in a statement. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to continuing our support of Massachusetts’ robust clean energy sector and making these benefits accessible to residents throughout the commonwealth.”