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    Invest a little, gain a lot of solar power

    Solar panels in Dartmouth.
    Jonathan Wiggs/globe staff
    Solar panels in Dartmouth.

    GOVERNOR PATRICK’S nation-leading clean energy policies are part of a smart strategy to further growth and opportunity here in Massachusetts by creating clean tech jobs, reducing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels, and keeping energy dollars here in the Commonwealth. By investing a small percentage of our total energy costs in the solar industry, we are shaping our energy future.

    After two years of double-digit job growth, there are now 80,000 clean energy workers in Massachusetts. The Solar Foundation this week ranked us fourth in the nation for solar jobs, behind sunny states like California and Arizona. We are expanding our solar energy program, in collaboration with utility companies, to encourage further economic growth, energy independence and greenhouse gas reductions.

    Massachusetts spends billions of dollars every year on energy. Not only does the cost of solar represent less than 1 percent of our estimated energy costs over 20 years, but investing in solar energy reduces our reliance on imported fossil fuels with volatile prices. It also provides power during peak electricity periods, lowering costs and easing strain on the system. Our approach will drive down costs as the market grows. This is an investment in the grid of our future.

    Rick Sullivan

    Boston

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    The writer is Massachusetts secretary of energy and environmental affairs.