Following its annual Solar Jobs Census, The Solar Foundation introduced an updated, interactive map of the 250,271 solar jobs across the US. The map illustrates the number of solar jobs in every state, metropolitan area, county, and congressional district.
The map tool also allows users to see how solar jobs have grown or shrunk in an area over the past few years. In addition, The Solar Foundation released fact sheets about solar industry employment in each state, as well as in Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
While it was the first time that the number of jobs in the solar industry shrunk since the first solar jobs census in 2010, the drop off was expected as companies were rushing to meet the anticipated end of the Investment Tax Credit, which was ultimately extended. Employment in the solar industry fell from 260,077 jobs in 2016.
“Our solar jobs map shows that many states and cities bucked the national trend and enjoyed significant jobs growth in 2017,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation. “As solar technologies rapidly become more affordable and abundant, solar jobs nationwide have nearly tripled since 2010. These jobs are in solar installation, project development, sales and marketing, manufacturing, engineering, and many other skill areas. In the future, states and localities should look to solar as a key strategy for building local economies and supporting high-quality careers.”
While the number of solar jobs dropped overall, the census also found found that solar jobs actually grew in a majority of states, 29, showing that solar is continuing to evolve and grow across the country. It also showed that new markets are emerging in the country, in states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina and others.
“We are very excited to see so much solar job growth in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Philadelphia has taken several steps to expand solar development, including our work to achieve SolSmart Gold designation, and launching the Solarize Philly program. We are committed to reducing citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 and transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy future. A solid solar workforce is key to achieving those goals.”
The nation’s largest solar market and largest solar jobs employer remained California, which had 86,414 people working in solar power in 2017. However, solar jobs in California saw the biggest year-over-year decline, falling by 14 percent, compared to the 3.8 percent decline in solar jobs across the nation.Tweet