Friday, September 6, 2013 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced he will participate in the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers' Annual Conference (NEG/ECP) in La Malbaie, Quebec Sunday, September 8 and Monday, September 9. The conference is an opportunity for the Governor to strengthen essential regional partnerships to build on the Commonwealth's leadership in creating clean and renewable energy, while exploring collaborative approaches to expand hydropower and other alternative energy sources. Successfully collaborating to expand large hydro in Massachusetts has the potential to lead to lower costs to ratepayers and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
"Creating a clean energy future is central to our growth strategy. One of our generation's biggest long-term challenges is energy: where to get it, how to sustain it, and how to keep it cost effective," said Governor Patrick. "This conference will provide us with a critical opportunity to discuss how we will successfully collaborate with our neighbors in creating pathways to expand large hydro and other alternative energy sources."
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Assistant Secretary for Energy Steven Clarke will join the Governor at the conference to collaborate with other energy advisors from throughout the region.
Topics that will be discussed include energy efficiency across the region, energy procurement issues, climate change challenges, energy supply, natural gas expansion, commercialization of electric vehicles and regional transportation issues.
Governor Patrick has set ambitious goals for renewable energy and signed historic legislation into law in 2008: the Green Communities Act, Global Warming Solutions Act and Green Jobs Act.
The Green Communities Act, a comprehensive energy reform bill, accelerated the increase of renewable energy required of all electricity suppliers, rising from four percent of sales to 15 percent by 2020, and set a goal of 20 percent of all electricity coming from renewables by that time. The Global Warming Solutions Act requires the Commonwealth to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050 -- the most ambitious greenhouse gas targets for any single state in the nation. The Green Jobs Act created the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) which is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy development and implementation, while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth in Massachusetts.
Currently, Massachusetts has 311 megawatts of solar power installed, with more than 130 megawatts installed in 2012 alone. That's enough electricity to power more than 46,600 homes and, when compared with fossil fuel-generated electricity, the equivalent of eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions from 32,224 cars per year.
There has been an increase in wind energy from 3 megawatts to 103 megawatts since 2007, enough to power more than 30,867 homes and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from more than 21,345 cars annually.
Massachusetts sits at the end of the energy pipeline, spending billions of dollars annually to import all of its fossil fuel based energy sources from places like South America, Canada and the Middle East. That is lost economic opportunity that Massachusetts stands poised to reclaim through investments in home-grown renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.