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Between 2007 and the end of 2010, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed and scheduled for installation in Massachusetts increased 20-fold - with jobs in solar manufacturing, installation, and services nearly tripling while installed wind energy increased 10-fold. In that same time period, Massachusetts launched the most aggressive energy efficiency program in the country, with estimated savings of over $6 billion for residential, municipal, industrial and commercial customers and 4,500 jobs sustained or created.
This is not a vision of a possible future for Massachusetts. This is Massachusetts today.
The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 requires the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to establish a statewide limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of between 10 percent and 25 percent below 1990 levels for 2020 - on the way toward an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 - along with a plan to achieve the 2020 target. Secretary Ian A. Bowles has set that 2020 limit at 25 percent - and this Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 contains the measures necessary to meet the limit.
Fulfilling that mandate will do much more than meet the requirements of the Global Warming Solutions. It will allow the Commonwealth to address a number of challenges, only one of which is climate change. Most importantly, it will give powerful impetus to the clean energy revolution that has already begun.
Those challenges include reducing Massachusetts's energy dependence on fossil-based energy sources derived from other regions, protecting Massachusetts energy consumers from energy price volatility, and taking advantage of an economic opportunity for growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry. The policies outlined in this Plan will reduce emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, which result in air pollution and adverse impacts to human health and ecosystems.
At roughly 2 percent of the U.S. economy and 1.3 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, Massachusetts could not, on its own, stop global climate change even if it reduced statewide emissions to zero instantly. However, Massachusetts is in a position to show the way to a clean energy economy - and reap direct benefits in economic growth - through the development of smart, targeted policies that reduce emissions by promoting greater energy efficiency, developing renewable energy, and encouraging other alternatives to the combustion of fossil fuels. In the process, Massachusetts will also start to get off the fossil fuel rollercoaster, become more energy independent, and jump start its economy with new technologies, new companies, and new jobs.
This information provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.