Maine is one of eight states chosen for a study of clean energy.
The decision comes from the Pew Charitable Trust which did research indicating Maine has an abundance of renewable resources.
The trust is also impressed with our state’s long-term commitment to the clean energy industry.
“What we found is Maine really is leading in terms of the amount of biomass and wind power that it’s using, it’s creating economic opportunities,” said Tom Swanson manager, clean energy, The Pew Charitable Trusts. “And the University here is really playing a huge role in helping push these new innovative technologies toward commercialization and helping drive down the cost of these technologies.”
The research indicated Maine is one of five states with an abundance of renewable resources like biofuel, tidal, wind and offshore wind power.
And according to Paul Williamson the Director of Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative, getting a a recommendation like this is a nice pat on the back for years of research and development. “There’s two seals of approval, one seal of approval is the recognition from Pew and other organizations that have really seen the demonstration that Maine has stepped forward, but one of the other really great seals of approval is the amount of investment that Maine has garnered for renewable energy just about one billion dollars has come in to the state of Maine.”
During the next decade expectations are for an additional 1 point 9 billion dollars to come in to the state because of renewable energy making Maine a blueprint for other states to follow.
“I think other states can learn that that does attract investment when we see renewable investment portfolio standards rolled back or frozen we see that investment drop off so the fact that Maine has stayed the course, they are beginning to see the benefits” said Swanson. “And again that’s economic, that’s security, and that’s environmental.”
“In the next several decades we’ll be an energy leader,” said Williamson. “We’ll be exporting energy, we’ll be leading the country in new technologies and that will add a whole lot to our bottom line of our economy. It will help keep youth working here in this state, an exciting place to live and work and have a profession, and so that entire prospect of having a new energy economy here in this state should get people here excited.”
Based on the Pew research biofuels and biomass is the fastest growing sector in Maine with an average jobs gain of more than 77 percent and Maine is first in the nation in per capita biomass electricity generation.