What are the key facts?
- The latest U.S. figures from The Solar Foundation show a 13 percent increase in high-skilled solar job.
- This increase in solar jobs — spanning installations, sales, marketing, manufacturing and software development — bring total direct jobs to 119,000 in the sector.
The new solar job figures reflect a stronger demand for clean energy generation, a steady decline in solar hardware costs and strategic investments made by the Energy Department in solar research and development over a number of years. Independent analysis has shown that investments made by the Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have accelerated the growth of the U.S. solar industry by an estimated 12 years.
The Energy Department anticipates this robust growth to continue. SunShot Vision Study projections estimate that by 2030 more than a quarter million highly-skilled solar workers will contribute to the U.S. economy. To meet the need for a growing number of solar professionals, the Department is expanding its Solar Instructor Training Network program to connect returning veterans to this high growth sector of our economy. In addition, through the SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge, we are working with state and local officials to simplify, standardize and streamline installation processes — including permitting and interconnection – and making it faster and easier for companies to expand to new markets and hire more employees.
As the U.S. economy continues its steady recovery, the combined and collaborative efforts of the private and public sectors will continue to boost a transition to a clean energy future.