100% Renewable

Renewables are on the rise in Massachusetts

Today, Massachusetts produces 7 times as much energy from the sun, the wind and the earth as we did just a decade ago. Learn more about how clean energy is growing and what we can do to accelerate clean energy growth.

Clean energy

Man in hard hat and safety harness sits on top of a wind turbine overlooking beautiful sunset landscape dotted with other wind turbines
Oleksii Sidorov | Shutterstock.com

Clean energy is booming in Massachusetts. 

According to “Renewables on the Rise 2023,” the seventh edition of our annual report on the state of clean energy in America, Massachusetts now generates 10 times as much solar power and 1.1 times as much wind power as it did in 2013. Taken together, the Bay State produces enough energy from the sun and the wind to power more than 461,000 households for a year.

This growth will be key to achieving our vision of a clean energy future — one in which we can all live greener, healthier lives in a world powered solely by clean, renewable energy.

Let’s take a closer look at how far we’ve come in the last decade.

Massachusetts’ clean energy growth

Our report looked at progress across several types of renewable energy and clean energy technologies — all of which will be needed to repower our state and country with clean, renewable energy. Here’s how Massachusetts did:

  • Solar energy: Massachusetts produced 4,689 GWh of solar energy last year, up from just 468 GWh in 2013. That’s enough energy to power 441,063 households for a year, and it was enough to bring us to 10th place in the national solar rankings.
  • Wind energy: In 2022, Massachusetts produced 220 gigawatt hours (GWh) of wind energy, enough to power 20,691 households for a year. This brought us to 36th in the country for wind generation in 2022.
  • Electric vehicle sales: Massachusetts ranked 10th in EV sales, with 22,104 electric vehicles (EVs) sold in the state in 2022, 12 times as many as were sold in 2013.
  • Electric vehicle charging ports: Massachusetts came in fifth in the nation for EV charging ports, with 6,073 installed by the end of 2022.
  • Energy savings: Energy efficiency improvements installed in 2021 (the most recent year for which we have data) will save 9,269 GWh of energy over their lifetimes, enough to power 910,671 households for a year. From 2013-2021, Massachusetts ranked 6 in the nation in growth of energy savings. 
  • Battery storage capacity: Expanding our battery storage will be essential as we work to repower our lives with clean energy. In 2022, Massachusetts had 0.25 gigawatts (GW) of battery storage capacity installed, up from 0 GW in 2013 — leaving plenty of room for growth in the future.

Massachusetts’ clean energy winner is…

Electric vehicle charging ports! Massachusetts had 38 times as many EV charging ports installed by the end of 2022 as it did in 2013, with 6,073 installed across the state. Massachusetts has a codified goal of net zero emissions by 2050, and expanding our EV charging network will be critical to achieving that goal. 

In 2021, the Environment Massachusetts-backed bipartisan infrastructure law promised to invest $7.5 billion in expanding the nation’s EV charging station network.

To complement our growing network of charging stations, our state is taking steps to increase adoption of electric vehicles. In 2022, the Massachusetts state legislature passed a major climate bill, including an Environment Massachusetts-backed provision to phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

What’s next for clean energy in Massachusetts?

We can keep renewable energy rising by taking advantage of the opportunities right in front of us. 

For example, there are more than 100,000 big box superstores in this country with flat, open, sunny rooftops just begging for solar panels.

The rooftops of America’s big box stores and shopping centers have the potential to generate 84.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of solar electricity each year, equivalent to the amount of electricity that would power almost 8 million average U.S. homes. That’s about as much electricity as it would take to power 35 midsize American cities — and it would cut annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 11.3 million gas-powered cars off the road.

As an added bonus, producing electricity on rooftops close to where the electricity will be used makes the grid more resilient to outages and disruptions, and it reduces energy losses that happen during electricity transmission and distribution.

Through our Solar on Superstores campaign, Environment Massachusetts and our national network are calling on big box stores to set ambitious goals to install solar panels on their rooftops. Add your name today!

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Workers doing rooftop solar installation

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To protect our communities and the future of our planet, we must move off of fossil fuels, and businesses have a big role to play in that transition.

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Brady Colford

Intern, Environment Massachusetts

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