US solar jobs grew ten times faster than America's economy in 2013

Clare Saxon Ghauri
28 January 2014

NEW YORK: America’s solar industry saw huge growth in 2013, with solar jobs growing ten times faster than the US economy as a whole, reigniting America's leadership in the clean energy revolution.

The National Solar Jobs Consensus by The Solar Foundation reveals that 23,682 new solar jobs were added in 2013--a growth rate of 19.9% on 2012's total--with 1 out of every 142 new US jobs last year being in the solar industry.

During the period covered by the Consensus, employment in solar jobs grew 10 times faster than the average national employment rate of 1.9%. The growth rate also exceeded projections made in the previous year's report for the time time ever. 

Andrea Luecke, Executive Director and President of The Solar Foundation, said: "The solar industry’s job-creating power is clear, the industry has grown an astounding 53% in the last four years alone, adding nearly 50,000 jobs. Our Census findings show that for the fourth year running, solar jobs remain well-paid and attract highly-skilled workers. That growth is putting people back to work and helping local economies.” 

142,698 Americans now work in the solar industry, the soaring growth of which is further highlighted by the report's finding that 50,000 of these jobs were added in the last four years.

Ernest MonizUS Energy Secretary said in a government statement: “This is an exciting time for the solar industry in the United States, made even more clear by the latest industry job figures. According to the Solar Foundation, today there are more than 140,000 Americans employed up and down the US solar supply chain and across every state. Since 2010, the solar industry has created nearly 50,000 new American jobs and employment has grown nearly 20% in the last year alone.” 

"President Obama has set an ambitious goal to double electricity generation from renewable sources once again by 2020, and a vibrant US workforce is vital to achieving this. To support a growing workforce and a new generation of clean energy leaders, the Energy Department is providing training and education opportunities for engineers, utility workers and students, as well as supporting projects across the country to ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy innovation."

Lyndon Rive, Chief Executive Officer, SolarCity, also commented: “SolarCity has added more than 2,000 jobs since the beginning of 2013; every single one in the United States. When you install a solar panel you create a local job that can’t be outsourced. More than 90% of Americans believe we should be using more solar, and fewer than 1% have it today. We’ve barely begun this transformation, but as it advances, the American solar industry has the potential to be one of the greatest job creators this country has ever seen.” 

Solar employment is expected to continue to grow by 15.7% in 2014, with around 22,240 new solar jobs estimated.

Read the National Solar Jobs Consensus

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By Clare Saxon


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