It was a busy week for the solar industry last week as rooftop solar companies announced new partnerships and funding. Likewise, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced a new president to help move the US solar industry forward into the future.
After months without an actual president, SEIA announced Abigail Ross Hopper will serve as its new President. Hopper previously led the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and prior to that led the Maryland Energy Administration. At BOEM she led more than 600 staff.
Renewables are proving to be an even bigger jobs creator. The Department of Energy released its 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) showing that solar and wind power now employ 366,000 workers across the US. It also showed that more than 260,000 workers spend most of their time working in solar power but that throughout the year some 374,000 people work in solar power.
New research shows that states with strong renewable energy policies are attracting more employers. That’s according to new research from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Their report shows that employers in the US want to use 60 gigawatts of clean energy by 2025. As such, they’re locating to states that make it easy for them to add in more renewable energy, the report found.
Meanwhile at least two large rooftop solar companies announced new rounds of funding last week. Vivint Solar raised $303 million in two separate funds, led by Bank of America. Together the two funds should allow the company to install roughly 280 megawatts of rooftop solar. In New York, National Grid invests $100 million in Sunrun. That partnership will allow Sunrun to install 200 megawatts of solar rooftops there.
More evidence is coming to light showing that renewable energy is saving the US money and could save it even more. Thanks to renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, the federal government is saving taxpayers $8 billion annually in energy costs.
Another study showed that renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades could result in even more savings for US utility customers in the west. A new study showed that electric transmission upgrades could save utility customers in the west between $2.3 billion and $3.4 billion. If those upgrades are made wind power could provide 20 percent of the energy in western states by 2030.Tweet