Over 9,100 Solar Workers in Grand Canyon State; Arizona Solar Industry Grows by Seven Percent in 2014
The Solar Foundation’s Arizona Solar Jobs Census Finds Arizona Ranks Third in the Nation in Solar Jobs
WASHINGTON, DC, FEB. 12, 2015 – The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit research and education organization, today released its Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2014. The Census found that the solar industry employed 9,170 people in Arizona in 2014, a figure that includes the addition of 612 new solar jobs over the previous year, representing 7.2 percent growth since November 2013. Additionally, Arizona solar employment grew four times faster than the average state employment growth rate during the same period.
“This is a welcome reversal from 2013, when we found solar employment in the state down by approximately 1,200 workers,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “While there is much to be desired in terms of support for increased use of the technology, the Arizona solar industry is optimistic, expecting to increase the number of jobs by more than 21% over the next twelve months.”
“For years, Arizona has been a leader in the solar industry,” said Former Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr. “Harnessing the power of the sun to generate clean electricity makes great economic and environmental sense. It is heartening that Arizona ranks third in the nation in solar jobs – and that its growth trajectory continues upward. Ensuring long-lasting success for the Arizona solar industry will pay great dividends for Arizonans and the state’s economy.”
An original analysis prepared for this report found that, should all Arizona utilities meet the requirement of the current Renewable Energy Standard with solar photovoltaics, nearly 1.3 billion gallons of water could be saved each year by 2040. This is equivalent to the water required to grow nearly 110 million pounds of lettuce in Yuma (a region that accounts for nearly 90 percent of the winter lettuce produced in the country), worth nearly $24 million.
“As the demand for clean, emissions-free solar energy grows in Arizona, our business has expanded to meet that increased demand,” said Corey Carrison, CEO of Southface Solar Electric. “We’re proud of our contributions to building a more robust economy in Arizona – by creating quality jobs that help enhance the quality of life in our state.”
Arizona solar employers are also optimistic about 2015, expecting the total number of solar jobs to climb to 11,101 by the end of this year.
The National Solar Jobs Census 2014 – of which the Arizona and other state Census reports are an offshoot – was conducted by The Solar Foundation and BW Research Partnership with support from The George Washington University. The national report, derived from data collected from more than 7,600 U.S. businesses, measured employment growth in the solar industry between November 2013 and November 2014. The margin of error of this data set is +/-2.03%, which is significantly lower than any similar national industry study.
“The study shows both aggressive hiring and clear optimism among solar companies,” said Philip Jordan, Vice President at BW Research Partnership. “Of particular interest was the continued high wages among solar installers nationwide. Additionally, we found that the U.S. installation sector is generally more diverse than other energy sectors, hiring African-Americans and Latinos at a faster rate than the oil, gas, coal and construction sectors.”
The full National Solar Jobs Census and State Solar Jobs Census reports with district level jobs for California, Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, Texas and New York are available at www.TSFcensus.org. Job numbers and rankings of economic indicators for all 50 states are available in The Solar Foundation’s updated State Solar Jobs Map at www.SolarStates.org.
About The Solar Foundation:
The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research that educates the public and transforms 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. The Solar Foundation is considered the nation’s authority on the solar workforce and advises many organizations on the topic. TSF is the leading nonprofit technical assistance provider for local governments through its work with the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, TSF chairs the National Solar Schools Consortium, a group of stakeholders seeking to make solar a larger part of the national K-12 system. More at http://TheSolarFoundation.org
About BW Research Partnership:
BW Research is widely regarded as the national leader in labor market analysis for emerging industries and clean energy technologies. BW Research provides high quality data and keen insight into economic and workforce issues related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, recycling, water, waste, and wastewater management, and other environmental fields. The principals of the firm are committed to providing research and analysis for data-driven decision-making. More at http://www.bwresearch.com