The Hub’s Clean Energy Sector Critical to Economic Success, Global Well-being
Initiatives like Greenovate Boston and Zayed Future Energy Prize Key to Area’s Future Energy Needs
Over the past several years, Greater Boston’s clean energy sector has had a dynamic impact on economic development regionally, as well as nationwide. Since 2010, clean energy employment in Massachusetts has grown 64 percent, adding almost 100,000 jobs to the state’s innovation economy. Throughout this time, Greater Boston has maintained its status as a hub for clean energy organizations and startups, whether it’s Kendall Square, Union Square or the burgeoning Seaport District.
JM Electrical knows our future energy needs will be met with some mix of renewable energy solutions and we’ve invested in equipment and expertise necessary to be part of that future. We’ve installed ground mount solar panel system capable of 495 kilowatts at Hoosac Valley High School as well as partnered with Harvard University School of Business to develop energy systems efficient enough to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
In addition, we’ve worked with The Governor’s Academy to install a 30 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the school’s campus in Byfield, MA. Today, their solar system is also a tool used to teach students about renewable energy.
Further, JM has installed state-of-the-art energy saving control systems for Castle Square Apartments in Boston’s South End as well as solar arrays for Jefferson Park apartment buildings, a new housing complex in North Cambridge owned by the Cambridge Housing Authority.
From complete solar photovoltaic installations to solar hot water controls, we are proud to have a specialization in this field. Moreover, these recent projects underscore the Commonwealth’s clear trajectory toward being a world leader in clean energy, an immense opportunity that we believe the Boston business community should help seize by investing renewable systems. Business leaders can also continue to support government efforts to ensure housing developments and schools “go solar” and to use other efficient systems in these public buildings.
On a civic basis, initiatives like Greenovate Boston, a community-driven movement urging Bostonians to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, go a long way in establishing reasonable framework for building a healthier and more prosperous city. (Boston is the first major city in the nation to require all large private construction projects adhere to the US Green Building Council’s LEED standards.)
We’d also encourage Greater Boston and Massachusetts to look beyond our borders for funding, support and recognition to bolster our standing in the world. Right now, clean tech companies should be applying for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which recognizes global prize companies, non-profits, and schools that are producing innovative solutions to today’s energy problems. Each year, the Zayed Prize provides $4.5 million in awards to these organizations. Over the past eight years, winners have received more than $25 million in prize money, enabling the winners to reach more than 202 million people by generating 360 million megawatt hours of electricity from renewables, reducing carbon emissions by 87 million tons and providing safe drinking water to 7 million people.
In 2013, Boston-based sustainability advocate Ceres was awarded the non-governmental organization (NGO) category of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The non-profit used their $1.5 million purse to expand international investor leadership on clean energy and to grow their ongoing work with leading companies which strive to integrate sustainability into their operations by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy. (Submissions and nominations for the 9th cycle of the Zayed Future Energy Prize will close on June 27, 2016 and can be made online athttp://zfepentry.com.)
The Zayed Future Energy Prize is supporting the types of work that are slowly becoming the bedrock of Boston’s clean energy revolution. For a company like JM Electrical, we are buoyed by these kinds of investments. Sometimes they might help a specific client. But, in general, they boost the public’s understanding and embrace of clean energy, something that helps our business in the short run, our planet in the long run.