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The state’s landmark law to promote energy efficiency and renewable power sources such as wind and solar is projected to produce a modest economic benefit in coming years, including the creation of about 16,000 jobs, according to new report released Tuesday.

The report by Analysis Group, a Boston economic and financial consulting firm, is believed to be the first detailed look at the economic impact of the state’s Green Communities Act, passed in 2008 with the primary aim of promoting renewable energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions blamed for accelerating climate change.

The study found that the programs put in place by the law, and financed with $2.7 billion in higher electric and natural gas rates, would create enough economic activity to cover those costs and yield a net benefit of $1.2 billion over about 15 years.The lead author of the report acknowledged the projected economic benefits are relatively small in a state with a $400 billion economy and a workforce of about 3.3 million people. But Paul Hibbard, vice president at Analysis Group, said the study shows the Green Communities Act is not a drag on the state’s economy, as some critics have contended, and is even helping it a bit.

“In the big scheme of things, these numbers may not look large,” Hibbard said. “But they’re still positive numbers.”

The report, funded by the Barr Foundation, a charitable nonprofit that has made fighting climate change a priority, focused solely on the economic impact of the law and did not consider potential environmental and health benefits.

 See the full article from the Boston Globe, March 4, 2013.

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