U.S. market rebounds from pandemic lows, adds 21,500 jobs in 2021

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Solar energy jobs increased in 47 states and increased by 9% nationwide from 2020 to 2021 to a total of 255,037 solar energy workers. The results of these surveys are based on the annual “National Solar Jobs CensusWas announced today by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), an independent national non-profit organization. This job growth occurred in a year of record PV installations due to increased demand for renewable energy among residential customers, local governments, businesses, and utilities.

Overall, the PV industry added 21,563 jobs in 2021, with more than two-thirds (14,350) of these new jobs being carried out by installation and project development companies.

Larry Sherwood, President and CEO of IREC, said: “The future remains uncertain in the light of supply chain turmoil, trade problems and stagnation of federal policy in the first half of 2022. In the coming years, if federal, state and local leaders take action to expand. Unprecedented employment potential. Use of clean energy and address climate change. “

Over the last decade, US solar employment has doubled from 105,145 in 2011 to 255,037 in 2021. The biggest growth was in the installation and project development sector, where employment has more than tripled since 2011, 2021.

At the state level, California continues to lead the total number of solar jobs with 75,712 jobs as of 2021, Florida (11,761 jobs), Massachusetts (10,548 jobs), New York (10,524 jobs), Texas (10,524 jobs). 10,346 jobs) follow. .. This is followed by Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, each with 7,000 to 9,000 jobs. California also led the number of jobs added in 2021 (7,035 new jobs), followed by Massachusetts (+1,053 jobs), Nevada (+1,019 jobs) and Arizona (+932 jobs). Other strong growth states were Ohio, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Georgia, with 800 to 900 new jobs each. Complete table of solar employment due to state and employment growth from 2020 Available online..

“Solar energy is the driving force of economic growth, helping to combat the climate crisis while creating new jobs,” said Dan Reicher, senior scalar and former US Secretary of Energy at the Stanford Woods Institute. “We have great untapped potential to expand solar PV and related work throughout the United States in an environmentally sustainable way to help businesses and families access this renewable energy source. There is sex. “

Credit: Nextracker

The PV industry still has a lot to do to reach its diversity, equity and inclusion goals and extend the benefits of the clean energy economy to underrepresented groups. According to the report, women will account for less than 30% of the PV workforce in 2021, 8% black workers, 20% Latin or Hispanic workers and 9% Asian workers. Occupied. Less than one-third of solar companies have reported strategies to increase adoption of women, ethnic, racial minorities, or LGBTQ +.

The PV industry can provide a path to progress and a career that sustains the family, including those without a two- or four-year college degree. Less than one-third (31%) of entry-level solar jobs require a bachelor’s degree, and 65% of companies offer on-the-job training. In a tight labor market year, 89% of companies reported difficulty finding qualified applicants and 35% said it was “very difficult.”

This report analyzes data from the US Department of Energy’s US Energy Employment Report 2022 and a supplementary follow-up study of PV facilities. Both surveys were conducted by BW Research Partnership. The National Solar Jobs Census defines solar employees as those who spend more than 50% of their time on solar-related work. The National Solar Jobs Census was first published in 2010. Solar foundation merged with IREC in 2021..

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