Renewable Energy in Massachusetts

Renewable Electricity Source

Current Production

2020 Potential 

Total Technical Potential


44 MW

at least 2000 MW

7770 MW


77 MW

at least 250 MW

13,000 MW by 2020 (will increase as technology develops)

Tidal and Wave

0 MW

58 MW

180 MW



5 to 11 MW

30 MW

Responsible Biomass

  less than 238MW[1]

240 MW


at least 2316 MW[2] (not including responsible biomass)

at least 20,980 MW (not including responsible biomass)


Renewable energy (not including biomass) could produce 2316 MW by 2020, nearly twice as much as the 1246 MW currently produced by coal.  Energy efficiency improvements can decrease electricity demand further.




[3] 238 MW is the 2020 potential for biomass in Massachuestts, but there are serious sustainability concerns with biomass electricity;  some reports have found that methods of biomass electricity may actually produce more emissions that coal. “Responsible biomass” would be the sustainably-harvested, low-carbon electricity produced from biomass, and we were unable to find data on its potential. 

[4] Calculated using the 8 MW for Hydro (the average of the expected range).



“Renewable Energy Snapshot.”  Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.  Retrieved 21 Feb 2012 from <>. 

“Massachusetts Renewable Energy Potential.”  6 August 2008.  Navigant Consulting, Inc.  Retrieved 21 Feb 2012 from <>.


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