The upcoming elections in November will be central in deciding the fate of the clean energy industry in New England, according to a new report by the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC) and NECEC Institute. All six of the region's states will be holding gubernatorial elections this year, and the report notes that governors play a crucial role in creating policy.
‘Clean energy innovation, company and job growth have mirrored many aspects of other innovation sectors over the last decade, including high-tech and life sciences, and have become a vital part of the New England economy,’ says NECEC President Peter Rothstein.
"Clear and consistent policy from the region's next governors stands to create tens of thousands of new jobs in this sector, while ensuring New England continues to accelerate the transition to a reliable, cost-effective clean energy system to spur economic growth in all parts of the regional economy."
According to the study, clean energy has grown substantially in New England in the last five years, thanks to deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as development of an industry creating technologies, products and services to serve a rapidly growing global clean energy market.
However, the report says the success of New England's clean energy cluster is at a tipping point, and the policies set by the next governors are crucial to continued success. With hundreds of companies developing next-generation clean energy technologies that will enter the marketplace in the coming decade, New England states need consistent policies that will enable companies to grow and deploy their technologies, the report adds.
The report lays out policy recommendations for the next governors, including the following: to expand each state's renewable portfolio standard and energy-demand-reduction goals through 2025; to support state programs to fund clean energy research, early-stage companies and demonstration projects for new technologies; to commit to advancing the modernization of the electricity system; and to expand the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) through the year 2030 to continue the region's cost-effective leadership on climate mitigation.
The full report is available here.