Since 2007, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed and scheduled for installation in Massachusetts increased 800-fold, while installed wind energy increased nine-fold. In that period, Massachusetts launched the most aggressive energy efficiency program in the country, with estimated savings of over $2.5 billion each year for residential, municipal, industrial and commercial customers and 47,000 energy efficiency and building envelope 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 required the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to establish a statewide limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of between 10% and 25% below 1990 levels for 2020 - on the way toward an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 - along with a plan to achieve the 2020 target. In 2010, Former Secretary Ian A. Bowles set that 2020 limit at 25% and published the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, laying out the measures necessary to meet the limit. The 2015 Update renews and revises those measures according to data and information gathered since the original plan’s publication.
Fulfilling that mandate 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.
Other challenges that the mandate will allow the Commonwealth to address include:
- reducing Massachusetts's energy dependence on fossil-based energy sources derived from other regions
- protecting Massachusetts energy consumers from energy price volatility
- taking advantage of an economic opportunity for growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry.
The policies outlined in this updated Plan will reduce emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, which result in air pollution and adverse impacts to human health and ecosystems.
At just under 3% of the U.S. economy and 1.2% 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 be able to:
- start to get off the fossil fuel rollercoaster
- become more energy independent
- jump start its economy with new technologies, new companies, and new jobs
 Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources, RPS & APS Compliance Year 2014 Report, Appendix Three, Table H
MassSave, Massachusetts Joint Statewide Three-Year Electric and Gas Energy Efficiency Plan (2013-2015), p. 103
 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, 2015 Clean Energy Industry Report, p. 36.