Tag: "solar census"

11/11/16

  08:49:00 am, by Laurel Hamilton   , 254 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Policy

Time to Make Your Progress Known with the Solar Census!

Solar Jobs CensusIf you work in the solar industry you have likely heard of the annual Solar Jobs Census from the Solar Foundation. It is the most credible annual review of the solar energy workforce, trends, and projected growth in the United States. 

The 2015 Census found that the industry continued to exceed growth expectations, adding workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy and accounting for one in every 83 jobs (1.2%) created in the U.S. during the year. Their research over the years found that overall employment in solar grew by 123% over the previous six years. As of November 2015, the solar industry provided 208,859 domestic living-wage jobs to solar workers (24% of which are women), representing a growth rate of 20.2% since November 2014. 

Has that momentum continued through 2016? NOW is the time of year again when your input can inform the policies that help shape the industry’s growth while improving the public’s awareness of the wider economic benefits of solar. This is the 7th year for the Census and quite possibly the most important year ever as solar can be a unifying issue around job creation and economic growth. When solar advocates go to the Hill or a State Capitol, they can tout first and foremost the number of jobs our industry has created. Getting accurate numbers is crucial so we need to get everyone around the country to participate. Please fill out the 2016 Census and share it with your solar friends! Click the link below to start the 15-minute long voluntary and confidential survey for your company: 

2016 Solar Jobs Census

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01/16/15

  10:52:00 am, by Laurel Hamilton   , 417 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, State of Solar

The Numbers are In...Solar Means Jobs!

Velvet installs a solar roof.If you pay any attention to clean tech news, its no surprise to hear that the solar industry is growing. But the record-breaking results from the National Solar Jobs Census, released by the Solar Foundation (TSF) yesterday, are pretty astounding. The study found that the sector grew nearly 20 times the rate of the overall economy. One out of every 78 jobs added in the US in 2014 was in the solar industry! 

The Solar Foundation, an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, has been conducting the annual National Solar Jobs Census since 2010. The 2014 report, derived directly from inerviews with more than 7,600 U.S. businesses, measured employment growth in the industry between November 2013 and November 2014.

We’ve pulled out a few highlights from the report:

Solar is Hiring!

Solar Jobs

  • As of November 2014, there were 173,807 solar workers employed, 1.3% of all jobs created in the U.S.
  • More than 31,000 new workers were hired in 2014, representing a growth rate of 21.8% since November 2013.
  • This means the Solar sector was hiring at nearly 20 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.1% in the same period.
  • Between 2010 and 2014, employment in solar has grown by 86%, resulting in valuable domestic skilled living-wage jobs.
  • Installation continues to account for the largest share of solar jobs, currently employing over 97,000.

Solar Jobs ComparisonClean Energy is Speeding Past Fossil Fuel Sectors

  • The solar sector (173,807 jobs) is now larger than coal mining (93,185 jobs).
  • Indeed, more folks go to work each day installing solar panels than go into mines to dig out coal.  (And we know which job we’d rather have!)
  • In 2014 the solar industry created more jobs (31,000) than both the oil and gas pipeline construction industry (10,529), and the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry (8,688) combined.

Solar Welcomes Diversity

  • Women, African-Americans and Latinos are hired in solar at a higher rate than oil, gas, coal and construction industries.
  • Over 37,500 women worked in solar (21.6% of solar workers), up from 26,700 in 2013.
  • Nearly 17,000 veterans are now employed in the sector, up from 13,000 in 2013.

Trouble Ahead?

While surveyed solar employers are optimistic about 2015, expecting to add another 36,000 jobs, the solar boom may not last forever… 72% of employers surveyed noted that the federal tax credit significantly boosted their sales in 2014. Dramatic downsizing in 2017 after the federal tax credit expires is not out of the realm of possibility. (Are you listening, Washington?)

Studies like this one prove that solar is providing a tremendously valuable boost to our economy while meeting public demand for choice, competition, and cleaner, more affordable energy. Hopefully some form of incentives post-2016 will continue to keep this valuable ball rolling.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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