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PRESS RELEASE: New State Solar Jobs Census Numbers for All 50 States from The Solar Foundation

California Has Largest Job Creation Year Ever; Massachusetts 2nd in Overall State Jobs Rankings, Nevada and New York Round Out Top Four
First-ever Solar Jobs Census figures, down to the state and federal congressional district levels for all 50 states, by The Solar Foundation.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2016  — The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit research and education organization, today released state-by-state data from its annual National Solar Jobs Census series via the State Solar Jobs Census Map.  This year’s State Census provides the most detailed solar jobs information for every state including data on solar jobs per state and federal congressional district.

The new data show that California not only maintained its leader position, but created over 20,000 new quality jobs in one year, and became the first state to surpass the 75,000 solar jobs benchmark. Massachusetts solidified the number two-position while becoming the second state to have more than 15,000 solar jobs. In addition to California and Massachusetts: Nevada, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Oregon, Michigan, and Utah are among the top 20 solar jobs states that grew by 30% or more. Thirty-three states (including the District of Columbia) saw positive growth over 2014.

“Solar power not only helps protect our environment and health – it helps accelerate our economic success,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.  “This is another example of how Colorado’s diverse energy economy contributes to our overall growth and stability.  We are pleased that the solar industry continues to find Colorado a good state for business.”

“Massachusetts is home to a thriving clean energy economy with innovative companies, world-class research institutions, and a skilled workforce, and we’re proud that the Commonwealth continues to maintain its national clean energy leadership position,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to supporting the Commonwealth’s growing clean energy sector to create jobs, reach our ambitious solar goals and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through a balanced and diversified energy portfolio.”

Thirty-three states, including the District of Columbia, saw positive solar jobs growth over the past year, and many states experienced double-digit growth.

“Solar job creation is booming across the country. California’s 20,000 new jobs marks an industry milestone—but states like Utah, Colorado, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia demonstrate the regional diversity of the industry’s growth,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “Our data since 2012 show that half the states in the country have at least doubled their solar workforce.”

The 2015 Census reports also show parallel growth in the total amount of installed capacity, the amount of electricity that solar projects are capable of generating.

“In 2016 alone, Recurrent Energy will bring more than 1.1 gigawatts of large-scale solar projects to operation, creating more than 2,000 jobs,” said Mitch Randall, president of Recurrent Energy, one of North America’s largest solar project developers and a subsidiary of Canadian Solar. “To make these solar projects a reality, a diverse range of professionals is required – developers, financiers, engineers, marketing and policy strategists, and construction and operations experts, to name a few. In addition to being part of a growth industry, solar professionals do important work to combat climate change.”

“The state solar jobs reports show that states with strong solar policies gain well paying jobs,” said Amit Ronen, Director of the GW Solar Institute. “The solar industry will be creating tens of thousands of jobs over the next few years and every state in the union, regardless of how big or sunny they are, can compete for them.”

This is the first year that The Solar Foundation has tracked solar jobs by Congressional District for all 50 states —providing information for nearly all 436 federal Congressional districts and more than 6,000 state legislative districts.  This year’s greatly expanded State Census effort shows that there are now 61 federal Congressional districts with at least 1,000 solar jobs; 132 districts with more than 500; and 222 districts with 250 or more solar industry jobs.

Key data from TSF’s State Solar Jobs Census:

Most Solar Jobs: 1.California, 2.Massachusetts, 3.Nevada, 4.New York, 5.New Jersey.

Highest % Solar Jobs Growth: 1.Rhode Island, 2.South Carolina, 3.Nebraska, 4.Tennessee, 5.Louisiana.

Most Solar Jobs Per Capita: 1.Nevada 2. Massachusetts, 3. Vermont, 4. Hawaii, 5. California.

Highest % Solar Capacity Growth 2014-15 (estimated): 1. South Carolina, 2. Utah, 3. Georgia, 4. Oregon, 5. New Hampshire.

Data associated with today’s release can be found online:

  • New solar jobs numbers by federal and state legislative district, as well as an assessment and ranking of industry indicators for all 50 states, are available at The Solar Foundation’s State Solar Jobs Census Map, SolarStates.org.
  • New jobs factsheets for all 50 states and a more detailed analysis of every region in the country can be found in The Solar Foundation’s State Solar Jobs Census Compendium Report at TSFcensus.org.
  • New stand-alone Census reports for 14 states, as well as the recently released National Solar Jobs Census 2015, can be found at TSFcensus.org.

The State Census effort was conducted by The Solar Foundation and BW Research Partnership and is a valuable addition of The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015. The state results derive from data collected from more than 19,000 U.S. businesses. The results from the Census are based on rigorous survey efforts that include 287,962 telephone calls and over 44,220 emails to known and potential energy establishments across the United States, resulting in a total of 2,350 full completions for solar establishments in the U.S. The sampling rigor in the known and unknown universes provides a margin of error for national employment at ±1.99% at a 95% confidence interval.

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The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research and education that transform markets. Since 2010, TSF has published its annual National Solar Jobs Census, which established the first credible solar jobs base line for the U.S. TSF is considered the premier research organization on the solar workforce, employer trends, and the economic impacts of solar. TSF is also a leading provider of educational materials on the economic impacts of solar for local governments through its work with the U.S. Department of Energy. TSF chairs the National Solar Schools Consortium, a group of stakeholders seeking to make solar a larger part of the national K-12 system. TheSolarFoundation.org

 

Media Contact: Billy Connelly, The Solar Foundation, 617-877-6745, bconnelly@solarfound.org

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