Nationwide solar employment growing ten times faster than rest of the economy
Columbus – Ohio has more than 3,800 people employed manufacturing and installing pollution-free solar energy, according to a national Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation. According to the analysis, Ohio ranks 8th in nation for solar jobs.
“The sun is an unlimited energy sources that could provide all of our energy without the air and water pollution associated with coal, oil and gas.” said Christian Adams, State Associate with Environment Ohio. “This report shows that the solar industry is putting people to work to meet a growing percentage of our energy needs with a pollution-free energy source that has no fuel costs.”
Solar is on the rise in Ohio and across the country. This progress is directly attributable to the commitment by state and their leaders to the development of solar energy. Environment America released a report last year emphasizing that it is not the availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policies.
“The sky’s the limit on solar. But, right now only a small fraction our energy comes from the sun,” said Adams. “To take it to the next level, we need to rally around a bigger vision on solar while defending and improving the programs that work today.”
Adams highlighted the role that cities can play to develop this vision in Ohio. “Cities like Cincinnati are already leading the way in renewable energy policy innovation at the municipal level.” In 2012 Cincinnati became the first city to secure a 100 percent renewable electricity supply by using electric aggregation. Chicago, Cleveland and other cities are now following suit with their own green aggregation programs.
Last April, Cincinnati City Council passed a unanimous resolution to create a citywide goal of putting solar on one in five rooftops by 2028 and develop new financing programs to incentivize residential rooftop and commercial solar markets. “Other cities across Ohio should follow the Queen City’s lead and grow Ohio’s homegrown solar energy market,” added Adams.
The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, today released its fourth annual National Solar Jobs Census, which found that the U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans in 2013. That figure includes the addition of 23,682 solar jobs over the previous year, representing 19.9 percent growth in employment since September 2012. Solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same period.
Statistics on all 50 states can be found on TSF’s interactive map, available at www.SolarStates.org. The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 and separate reports for CA, AZ and MN, including employment by legislative district, are available at www.tsfcensus.org
Environment Ohio is a state-based, citizen-supported, environmental advocacy organization, working towards a cleaner, greener, healthier future.