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Clean Energy Experts: MA Leads Pack, U.S. Lags Behind

June 14, 2011

BOSTON - Clean power, good jobs and energy independence are the goals of a national campaign coming to the Bay State this week, to tour innovative facilities and meet with business leaders.

Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm is a senior policy advisor for the Pew Clean Energy Program. She'll visit Veolia Energy North America, a power plant in Cambridge.

Granholm says Massachusetts is leading the way when it comes to clean energy innovation, which should lead in turn to thousands of jobs.

"Massachusetts has a very aggressive strategy to be able to provide a market for clean energy job providers. Massachusetts has committed to getting 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2020."

Granholm says the state is poised to create 48,000 jobs by 2020 through its clean energy initiatives. The power plant tour will highlight the way waste heat is recycled and converted to steam.

Granholm and other Pew campaign representatives will also meet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today, with a stop at the Clean Energy Technology Expo at the Hynes Convention Center on Wednesday.

Phyllis Cuttino, the director of Pew's Clean Energy Program, says the emerging global clean energy economy has grown by more than 630 percent over the last six to seven years, and the U.S. used to be the leader.

"In 2008, we led the global economy in terms of attracting private investment. In 2009, we slipped to second behind China; and in 2010, we slipped to third, behind both China and Germany."

Cuttino says in order for the U.S. to lead again, a national energy policy is needed to create more certainty for investors, which she adds is a must in today's global economy.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA