Massachusetts has long been a leader in the fight against global warming, and the state has made major progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Massachusetts must go even further to cut carbon emissions to the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
Fortunately, the tools and technologies to rapidly cut carbon emissions are at our fingertips. Cool Solutions, a report from the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, describes ten game-changing opportunities to reduce emissions in the areas of renewable energy, building design, and transportation. Together, these “game-changers” will help Massachusetts cut its global warming emissions to at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2030, putting the state on track to meet the target of 80% emission reductions by 2050 required under the Global Warming Solutions Act.
This document profiles Massachusetts-based companies and projects that are embracing each of the ten innovative, game-changing trends identified in Cool Solutions. The businesses profiled here are just a handful of the thousands of Massachusetts companies making a difference in the fight against global warming while creating jobs and boosting the state’s economy.
According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, clean energy companies employ more than 88,000 people in Massachusetts — an increase of 28,000 jobs since 2010.1 Those figures don’t include Massachusetts residents working in other sectors that contribute to reducing carbon emissions, such as public transportation, non-motorized transportation, and green architecture. A strong commitment to cutting Massachusetts’ carbon emissions will help ensure that clean tech companies continue to grow.
For most categories, it was relatively straightforward to find Massachusetts companies leading the way in implementing these game-changing technologies. For offshore wind, a technology that has not yet taken root in Massachusetts but for which there is ample potential off our shores, we profile Rhode Island businesses that are taking part in the nation’s first-ever offshore wind farm near Block Island, as well as a Massachusetts-based cooperative aiming to capture the benefits of offshore wind for local residents.
Together, these companies and projects are showing that fighting global warming and growing Massachusetts’ economy go hand in hand. Our state officials should support policies and programs that enable game-changing companies like these to thrive.
1: Solar Photovoltaics
Nexamp is a fully integrated solar company that designs, builds, owns, and operates solar energy facilities throughout New England. Founded in 2008 by two U.S. Army captains and hometown friends, Nexamp’s more than 50 megawatts of installed solar and more than 35 megawatts under asset management make it one of the largest commercial solar providers in the Northeast.
2: Offshore Wind
Members of Deepwater Wind’s executive team have been developing clean energy projects for most of their careers. Between 2005 and 2007, team members traveled to Europe to see the development of the offshore wind industry. Offshore wind in Europe currently supports 75,000 jobs, a number expected to grow to 178,000 by 2030.
3: Energy Storage
Sean Becker, an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist, founded Sparkplug Power in 2009 to provide “cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable” energy storage options. Becker says he has always been interested in protecting the environment and preserving clean air and water. He received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University before joining the Navy, where he received training in engineering. In the Navy, Becker ran gas turbine engines and managed the propeller systems during the construction of a new destroyer.
4: New Energy Efficiency Tools
Next Step Living
Geoff Chapin founded Next Step Living in 2008 to address the 21 percent of U.S. carbon emissions that come from residential energy use. The company’s mission is to provide homeowners with resources to lead more sustainable and comfortable lives by adopting energy-efficient solutions. The company has expanded since its founding to serve Connecticut and New York in addition to Massachusetts, and recently introduced a new product aimed at the commercial sector, the EcoThermal Filter System.
5: Renewable Heating and Cooling
Boston Solar was founded in 2011 by college roommates Romain Strecker and Daniel Mello Guimaraes, who met at Davidson College in North Carolina. The company began physical operations in 2012 out of Strecker’s kitchen in Lynn, primarily as a solar installer working in eastern Massachusetts.
About Environment Massachusetts
Environment Massachusetts is a citizen-based environmental advocacy project of Environment America. We believe there’s something special about Massachusetts—something worth protecting and preserving for future generations. Whether it’s the gentle current of the Charles River, the waves crashing off Cape Cod, or the rustle of leaves as you walk through your local forest, Massachusetts’s natural wonders enrich our lives in countless ways.