Thousands of Texans Finding New Quality Jobs in the Solar Industry; Texas Solar Industry Provides Nearly 7,000 High-Skilled, Living-Wage Jobs
The Solar Foundation’s Texas Solar Jobs Census Finds that Solar Jobs Grew by Nearly 70% Last Year – Nearly 2,830 new Texas solar energy jobs created in 2014, bringing Texas’ total to 6,965
WASHINGTON, DC, FEB. 12, 2015 – The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit research and education organization, today released its Texas Solar Jobs Census 2014. The Census found that the solar industry employed 6,965 people in Texas in 2014, a figure that includes the addition of 2,829 new solar jobs over the previous year. This represents 68 percent growth in solar industry employment since November 2013. Additionally, Texas solar employment grew nearly 25 times faster than overall employment growth in the state during the same period.
“Texas’s solar industry has once again proven to be a powerful engine of economic growth thanks to phenomenal new solar job creation,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “Texas solar jobs have grown 68 percent in the last year, adding approximately 2,830 new jobs. It also shows that the solar industry is attracting highly-skilled, well-paid professionals in Texas. That growth is putting people back to work and strengthening Texas’s economy.”
“Solar has played –and will continue to play– a major role in diversifying our State’s energy mix. It’s an inexhaustible resource; lower production costs, greater dependability and ease of use have led to a wider deployment of this technology,” said Texas State Senator Troy Fraser. “We’re very proud that Texas significantly grew its solar jobs in 2014, and ranked sixth in solar jobs nationally. Going forward, solar has tremendous potential to be a major source of quality jobs in Texas.”
“Texas’s abundant land, ample sunshine, and extensive transmission network make the state one of the top solar industry growth markets in the U.S.,” said Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. “In addition, years of decreasing costs and growing scale are now enabling solar power to successfully compete against conventional energy to meet the growing demand in ERCOT. The pieces are all in place for an incredible 68 percent increase in Texas solar employment.”
“Our company has doubled in size each year since 2012 in a market – Houston – that has no state or utility incentives. Barring any changes that could have a negative impact on our industry, we feel there is a very good chance we’ll stay on this trajectory for the next few years,” said Cal Morton of Texas Solar Outfitters. “Adding needed electricity capacity with zero emissions, while creating thousands of well-paid, skilled positions – it’s a win-win for Texas.”
Texas solar employers are also optimistic about 2015, expecting the total number of solar jobs to climb to 9,129 by the end of this year.
The National Solar Jobs Census 2014 – of which the Texas 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; the industry employs many returning veterans and African-Americans and Latinos are hired at a faster rate than in 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 www.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/