Solar Jobs Charging Ahead
The creation of solar jobs has increased at an exponential rate in the past few years, and has seen the largest amount of growth in the past year. Globally, renewable energy employs 9.8 million people as of 2016. Solar jobs account for over 3 million of those jobs.
National Economic Growth
According to the National Solar Foundation’s US Solar Jobs Census 2016, national employment in the solar industry grew by 24% in 2016. This continues the trend of the past 4 years, where solar job growth has reached 20% or higher per year. In total, there were over 260,000 US jobs in solar energy in 2016. This is up from 93,000 US solar jobs in 2010.
Most solar jobs are in installation, but manufacturing, project development, sales, and research and development are also high on the list. Solar installation has become an attractive option in the new clean energy economy. Solar jobs serve as a well-paying blue-collar option for the nation’s workforce.
When looking at our energy mix, these numbers may seem surprising. Solar makes up only 1.3% of all energy generation in the nation. However, it is the second largest employer in all energy generation industries. This is attributed to the fairly labor-intensive nature of the industry, from design to installation.
Little Rhode Island Leads
Rhode Island has been a leader in growth in the clean energy economy. Governor Raimondo put forth an aggressive goal of 1,000 megawatts of clean energy by 2020, along with 20,000 clean energy jobs. Since 2014, employment in clean energy has grown by 66%. There are over 15,300 jobs in the state in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In Rhode Island, solar installers in particular have increased employment 16% over the past year.
Thanks to progressive leadership, the declining cost of solar energy, and the high electricity prices Rhode Islanders face, renewable and other clean energy technologies are being adopted rapidly. With these new technologies come opportunities for employment as well as economic growth in both our state and the nation. Newport Solar is proud to be part of this trend as we help Rhode Islanders take control of their energy production!