SolarReviews Weekly News: Solar Jobs Fall, US Energy Cleaner Than Ever

SolarReviews Weekly News: Solar Jobs Fall, US Energy Cleaner Than Ever

by on in Alternative Energy, Photovoltaic Technology, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy

Last week two reports came out showing interesting news on the state of clean energy in the US. One report showed that solar jobs are falling, while another showed that carbon emissions increased last year, even as the country’s energy infrastructure is cleaner than ever. Moves in Oregon and Illinois will ensure more clean energy comes online, too. 

The Solar Foundation, in its annual National Solar Jobs Census, found the number of people employed by the solar industry fell to 242,343 people in 2018 from a high of 260,077 people at the end of 2016. It’s the second year in a row that jobs fell in the industry. The organization cited the impact of Trump’s import tariffs on the industry. However, the report also anticipated that jobs in the industry will recover somewhat in 2019.Solar Jobs Census 2019. Courtesy The Solar Foundation

With 53 percent of the US’s electricity coming from clean energy, the US’s energy infrastructure is cleaner than ever, according to the annual 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook published by BloombergNEF (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). However, the US consumed more energy than in previous years thanks to economic growth and weather conditions.

Illinois’ legislature will consider the “Path to 100 Act,” a bill introduced by Rep. Will Davis (D-Hazel Crest). The bill would move the state to 40 percent renewable energy by 2030 and put the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy, which Gov. JB P Pritzker (D) has pledged to do. The bill would also support the state’s current renewable portfolio standard, which requires it to get 25 percent of its energy from renewable energy by 2025 and 16 percent by 2020, even though the state is only getting 7 percent of its electricity from renewable energy now.

In Oregon, a new project would comprise a first. The project would by the first giant project to combine wind power, solar power and large energy storage. The project being developed by Portland General Electric Co. and NextEra Energy would consist of 300 megawatts of wind power, 50 MWs of solar power and 30 MWs of batteries for energy storage. Once completed the utility will source roughly 50 percent of its power from renewable energy. 

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