Following a successful launch of the 2013 Solar Jobs Census, the GW Solar Institute and The Solar Foundation partnered with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute to release state specific jobs data during a Capitol Hill briefing. This event also marked the release of three new Census derived reports that provide the first ever district-level analysis of solar employment in California, Arizona, and Minnesota.
The Solar Foundation Executive Director Andrea Luecke highlighted the top solar job producing states and launched an updated version of the interactive online State Solar Jobs map.
GW Solar Institute Director Amit Ronen provided the audience with an overview of the policy implication of the Census results, including that the data suggested that driving force behind the solar market transformation and increase in solar jobs is the declining cost of panels and that there was a strong correlation between state solar penetration rates and the number of jobs created. Ronen also reviewed the results of policy related survey questions related to why consumers were choosing to make solar investments, whether elected officials understood the benefits of solar energy, and industry views on solar trade issues.
The jobs are following where the installations are located. This is an important trend because the installation jobs are local and cannot be outsourced. Case in point is California they have 3,500 new jobs and the most installed capacity. The trend in solar job increases also does not rely on the solar capacity potential of a state. States like New Jersey and Massachusetts that are not necessarily the sunniest are doing well because they have the policies and the underlying support for the installations and they’re benefiting from the jobs.
SunEdison North America President Bob Powell also served as a panelist and commented on the state and federal public policies that have the potential to impact solar businesses, while Jason Walsh, Senior Advisor for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, highlighted the work of the Sunshot program.
View Event Materials and Videos from the Solar Jobs Census Capitol Hill Briefing
View the 2013 National Solar Jobs Census Report
View the 2013 50 State Solar Jobs Fact Sheet
View the Interactive Solar States Jobs Map