Mills Administration Releases Report on Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy

Mills Administration Releases Report on Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy

November 9, 2020

Maine’s bold renewable energy and climate change policies are supporting economic growth and workforce demands in thriving clean energy industry, new report finds.

A new report from the Governor’s Energy Office and Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future offers a detailed analysis of the momentum within Maine’s clean energy economy, and how the sector is emerging as a source of economic growth and workforce opportunities to help the state’s recovery from the economic disruption of COVID-19.

Cover page of the reportStrengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy (PDF) unveils detailed strategies for expanding Maine’s clean economy workforce, supporting innovation, and training opportunities in renewable power generation and energy efficiency.

Renewable energy fields, like wind and solar, are some of the fastest growing sectors in the nation. The report found that Maine’s recent policy changes and investments in clean energy and energy efficiency have the state poised to see increased workforce demands for these growing industries, which will create new career opportunities and bolster employment in existing fields. Further, Maine’s innovation centers around forest products and floating offshore wind could provide additional opportunities as new markets emerge.

“The global threat of climate change looms large over the future of our state, eclipsed only by our determination to combat it and to create good paying jobs to boot,” said Governor Mills. “Over the past two years, through bold action and bipartisan policymaking, we have seen a clean energy economy begin to blossom in Maine. We have proven Maine is a leader forging the path to a clean energy future built by good paying, green collar jobs in innovative industries. Now more than ever, we can’t lose sight of that future and the steps it will take to get there.”

Nationally, clean energy careers have eclipsed employment in fossil-fuel energy sectors. Clean energy jobs offer meaningful pathways for workers without advanced degrees. Nationally, these jobs offer median hourly wages 25 percent higher than that in most areas, as well as competitive retirement and health insurance benefits.

The promise of the clean energy economy has been proven out across New England, which boasts three of the top-five states in the nation for clean energy workers.... According to a 2019 national survey, Maine had approximately 14,000 workers in clean energy fields with 8,900 working in energy efficiency alone. While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted this field, Maine saw growth in all energy fields between 2018 and 2019.

“Maine is making unprecedented investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we must ensure we have the necessary skilled workforce to meet the growing demand,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “This opportunity before Maine is significant, and this report lays out strategies we believe will be most effective to grow this dynamic economic sector.”

The most recent state workforce projections (PDF) indicate a slight decline in Maine employment over the coming decade, as a high number of workers reach retirement age. The report highlights the potential of the clean energy sector to forestall this trend over the next 10 years.

A survey of more than 100 energy businesses and organizations compiled for the report found that workforce scarcity is a primary concern for the future, with the success of workforce development, recruitment and retention efforts seen as directly affecting to the sector’s overall economic impact. Workforce development is highlighted as the clear opportunity and challenge for Maine and the report calls for enhancing career and technical opportunities for Maine high school and college students, as well as marketing and recruitment for clean energy careers.

Acting now is also viewed as critical, the report urges, based on the clear potential for the clean energy economy to spur Maine’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to enhance Maine’s competitive advantage against other states seeking to attract renewable energy investments.

Growing Maine’s clean energy industry is a signature focus of the Mills Administration for catalyzing economic growth and curbing greenhouse gas emissions to slow the harmful effects of climate change. Since last year, Maine has set among the boldest clean energy goals in the nation, including a requirement that 80 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, and a goal of 100 percent by 2050 – if not sooner.

Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy was created for the Maine Climate Council, which will incorporate its recommended strategies as part of its four-year Climate Action Plan to be released on December 1.

Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council, said the report helps bring the economic impact of fighting climate change into perspective for the Council as it prepares to deliver its own plan for action.

“The impacts of climate change on Maine are already being felt, and the threat to our state is severe unless bold steps are taken,” said Pingree. “These bold actions also come with the opportunity to grow good paying jobs in clean energy and innovative natural resources industries, which is a win-win opportunity for Maine to both reduce greenhouse emissions and grow our economy.”

Read the report, “Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy,” online.

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Comment by arthur qwenk on November 10, 2020 at 5:00pm

Why not 30 cents per KW hour, and feed Angus King and son some more?

How does 30 cents per KW Hour sound Maine?

Enjoy your electric bills.

Florida, 10 cents per KWH...oh well...they have enough sense there to use dense energy like nuclear and natural gas, and not feed the "Green " graft to politicians like Maine does.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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