Solar Employs More Than 250,000 Americans, Jobs Nearly Triple Since 2010
U.S. solar industry employment declined in 2017, while jobs increased in numerous states with emerging solar markets, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2017 the eighth annual report on solar employment released today by The Solar Foundation.
Solar Jobs Census found that 250,271 Americans work in solar as of 2017. Thereby representing a 3.8 percent decline, or about 9,800 fewer jobs, since 2016. This is the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Jobs Census was first released in 2010.
However, the long-term trend continues to show significant jobs growth. The solar workforce increased by 168 percent in the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to over 250,000 jobs in 2017.
However, California remains the state with the largest number of solar jobs nationwide. Although jobs in California decreased 14 percent in 2017.
Solar Jobs Census
All conducted between October and November 2017. So the Census defines a solar employee as someone who spends at least 50 percent of his or her time on solar-related work.
Diversity and Total Numbers
(These comparisons with other industries are based on 2016 solar jobs census numbers, the most recent data available for an apples-to-apples comparison.)
“Under Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy agenda, Next w York is putting in place all the right ingredients to create a thriving solar industry that is creating good paying jobs in communities across the state,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). “Under the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy, which includes initiatives like NY-Sun and New York Green Bank, our state is attracting private capital and driving innovation in project development and financing that will put us on a pathway to meeting our nation-leading commitment to obtaining 50 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030.”