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Massachusetts clean energy economy growing, report says

The growth of Massachusetts’ renewable energy economy is outpacing the overall economy nearly tenfold, according to a new report that measures clean energy sector employment and the number of businesses that use clean energy practices.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center announced Thursday that its annual report found an 11.2 percent growth in the sector’s economy from July 2011 to July 2012. Renewable energy leaders say they expect the growth to continue, and industry employers who were surveyed said they expect to hire more workers in the coming year.

The sector employs more than 71,000 workers at nearly 5,000 companies across the state_1.7 percent of Massachusetts’ total workforce.

It includes companies involved in renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transportation and carbon management. The report also found that firms from construction and manufacturing to research and development reported employment in the renewable energy sector.

State Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, who chairs the center, said the report shows that the ‘‘clean energy revolution is taking hold and creating jobs.’’

Gov. Deval Patrick, a large proponent of renewable energy initiatives, said the report’s findings should inspire the state to ‘‘keep this momentum going strong.’’

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center was created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008 to promote renewable energy technologies, companies and projects in Massachusetts.

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