The steady growth of solar energy across the country is leading to significant employment in almost every state, according to according to the national Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation. The report found that jobs manufacturing and installing solar grew by nearly 20% in 2013 to a total of more than 140,000 nationwide. More than 20 States — including North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa and Montana doubled the number of solar-related jobs. California led the nation with the most solar jobs and Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Colorado and North Carolina rounded out the top ten.
“The sun is an unlimited energy source that provides all the energy we need without the air, water and climate-altering pollution associated with fossil fuels,” said Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director for Environment America. “This report shows that we can put people to work across the country while getting a growing percentage of our energy from a pollution-free energy source that has no fuel costs.”
Environment America released a report last year; which emphasized that it is not the availability of sunlight makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have adopted effective programs. A strong commitment from state and local leaders; with a strong assist from the federal government, has fueled tremendous progress on solar.
“We’ve made tremendous progress on solar in the past few years. But, we’ve barely scratched the surfaced of its potential to meet our energy needs and reduce pollution.” said Sargent. “To truly capture the environmental and economic benefits of solar energy, we must take it to the next level and rally around a bigger vision on solar, while defending and improving the programs that work today.”