Nearly 90 percent of states increased their solar workforce in 2013.
The solar industry experienced record-breaking job growth across the U.S. last year, according to The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent 501(c)(3) research and education nonprofit. TSF released new state-specific numbers that show major solar job gains in both traditional and burgeoning markets.
California and Arizona continued to lead the way as the top two states for solar employment, with 47,223 and 8,558 jobs, respectively. The New England region is home to over 25,000 solar jobs, representing nearly 20 percent of the total US solar workforce despite not being among the sunniest regions. Southern states now employ over 22,000 solar workers, and 18 Southern, Midwestern and Mountain states doubled their solar jobs since TSF last reported these figures. Statistics on all 50 states can be found on TSF’s interactive map, available at thesolarfoundation.org/solarstates.
“Sunrun added 45 percent more jobs since the beginning of 2013 and our thriving ecosystem of partners employs more than 3,000 people across the country," said Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun. "The home solar market continues to be the fastest growing segment of the solar industry with 50 percent growth since last year. As the industry grows, more jobs will be added to our economy, which means more families being able to take advantage of cleaner and cheaper renewable electricity."
Better-established solar markets like Massachusetts and New York both grew by nearly 50 percent while developing markets in North Carolina and Georgia doubled their solar jobs. Strong policy in Georgia has led to a rapid increase in installation jobs, whereas increasing market maturity led to gains in New York for jobs related to legal and financial services.
New solar job creation in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana combined to account for nearly one-quarter of the total 23,682 industry-wide jobs added last year.
State solar employment figures were generated using thousands of data points from a combination of high-quality sources, including TSF’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013, the Solar Energy Industries Association’s National Solar Database, and other sources. While the margin of error for some of the smaller solar jobs states remains wide, these numbers are believed to be the most credible and up-to-date state-level solar jobs numbers in existence. The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 was conducted by TSF and BW Research Partnership with support from The George Washington University’s Solar Institute. The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 and separate district-level Census reports for California, Arizona and Minnesota, are available on the organizations website.