Clean energy is set to be the fastest-growing sector in Massachusetts, according to a recently released report: The Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Census. Second only to California in clean energy industry development, the state is home to 116 cleantech startups founded there since 2001, employs some 14,400 people, and is poised to become its 10th largest sector.
Jobs at renewable energy companies (including solar, biofuels, wind power, and wave systems) in Massachusetts are growing faster than those of energy efficiency firms (like LED lighting, building controls, and energy efficient
appliances.) Executives surveyed in the report said they expect 30 percent job growth in renewable energy firms over the next year vs. a 25 percent rise in jobs at companies that focus on energy efficiency.
Not everyone is happy with the sector’s higher growth rate for renewable energy over energy efficiency. Critics say that renewable energy is a risky investment, and are concerned about the amount of jobs being created in such a young and volatile segment of the clean energy industry. Of the 116 clean energy companies founded since 2001, 77 were renewable energy companies while just 20 of the companies focused on energy efficiency.
“[Efficiency] hasn’t been looked at as thoroughly as other areas,” @Ventures partner Rob Day told Xconomy.com.
And the growth rate of the renewable energy sector isn’t the only hitch, roughly 68 percent of the firms are under $10 million in revenue, and CEOs surveyed in the report said they’re worried most about revenue growth.