Massachusetts business coalition seeks steeper renewable energy standard

A group of Massachusetts businesses are calling on state lawmakers to support an increase of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to achieve 50 percent renewable energy supply by 2030.

Autodesk, Ikea, JLL, Legal Sea Foods, and New Balance are among the businesses calling for more renewable energy in a letter delivered to lawmakers. The call comes as Massachusetts lawmakers prepare for a hearing next week on several pieces of legislation that would increase the RPS.

“Increasing the RPS would help Massachusetts businesses,” the letter states. “A growing number of companies, both large and small, have set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy not only because it is the right thing to do to address the urgent imperative of advancing the clean energy transition, but because it makes good business sense.”

The RPS has helped spur new, cost-effective renewable energy development, which is critical to allowing businesses to meet their clean energy goals. Currently, the RPS in Massachusetts increases by 1 percent per year. However a new report finds that increasing the RPS by at least 2 percent per year would create thousands of jobs, lower wholesale electricity prices, and better position Massachusetts and its business community to harness the state’s potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“As a global commercial real estate firm, JLL understands that investing in clean energy is good for our clients’ bottom line,” says Cynthia Curtis, Vice President of Sustainability at JLL. “Forward thinking-policies like the RPS puts more clean energy on the grid so businesses can benefit from more predictable energy prices and better environmental quality.”

“Our business powers our facilities and cloud services with 100 percent renewable energy,” says David Crane, VP of Government Affairs at global design software developer Autodesk. “We’ve found that clean energy is good for business and the economy and that is why we support strengthening Massachusetts’ RPS to reach 50 percent by 2030.”

“Massachusetts lawmakers should respond to the calls of the business community and increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager of state policy at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization that helped organize the businesses. “A stronger RPS will provide companies with additional policy certainty and help the state continue to be a clean energy leader.”

Massachusetts’ current policies have catalyzed the development of a robust clean energy sector, leading to the creation of high-paying jobs, and increased capital investments. These policies have resulted in more than 100,000 clean energy jobs and contributed more than $11.8 billion to the Gross State Product. Increasing the RPS would accelerate this vital economic engine while helping the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction requirements.

The businesses signatories have set a high standard for clean energy leadership and urge other businesses and lawmakers to support an increase in the state’s RPS.

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