Rhode Island Solar Jobs Grew 62% in 2013

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Channing Jones

Progress in RI, but still lagging other states

Environment Rhode Island

An estimated 340 people in Rhode Island were employed manufacturing and installing pollution-free solar energy in 2013, according to a national Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation. This is a 62% increase from 210 jobs one year earlier. However, with even more growth in other states, Rhode Island’s national rank in per capita solar jobs dropped from #21 to #26 since last year’s report.

“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 Channing Jones, Campaign Director with Environment Rhode Island. “This report shows that the solar industry is putting people to work in Rhode Island, and that fostering the industry will be key to bringing even more good green jobs to the Ocean State.”

Solar is on the rise in Rhode Island and across the country. According to Lighting the Way, a report released last summer by the Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center, it is not availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy for the development of a solar industry.

“The sky’s the limit on solar,” said Jones. “But right now, only a small fraction our energy comes from solar. 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.” The National Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, 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.