The National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative released the “2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER).” Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation, made the following statement:
“The data in this report is the latest evidence that solar is the leading job creator in the clean energy sector. Solar provides more than twice as many jobs as the coal industry, almost five times as many jobs as nuclear power, and nearly an equal number of jobs as natural gas. As installations continue to go up across the country and become a mainstream part of America’s energy mix, opportunities for high-quality jobs in the solar industry will only increase.”
A note on the numbers: The Solar Foundation publishes the annual “National Solar Jobs Census” which counts the number of solar jobs at the national, state and local levels. The USEER uses the same methodology to count solar job numbers. However, the total number of solar jobs in the USEER is higher than in the “National Solar Jobs Census” by nearly 100,000 jobs. The reason is that the Census defines a solar worker as someone who spends 50% or more of his or her time working in solar. The USEER includes all those who spend any portion of their time working in solar.
The latest National Solar Jobs Census found there are 250,271 solar workers in the United States as of 2017. The vast majority of these workers (89%) spent 100% of their time working in solar. U.S. solar jobs declined in 2017 for the first time since The Solar Foundation began tracking solar employment in 2010. However, solar jobs increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia in 2017. Nationwide, solar employment grew by 110% between 2012 and 2017, adding a net of 131,000 jobs.
News item from The Solar Foundation