Solar Jobs Census: 119,000 workers nationwide; 43,700 in California

A new state-by-state jobs census by The Solar Foundation finds that the U.S. solar industry employed 119,016 workers in all 50 states in 2012, an increase of 14,000 since 2011.

California has 43,700 local solar jobs, more than four times the number of solar workers in any other state; the vast majority are installation jobs. California has long been the nation’s leading solar market, thanks to a state law that requires utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and state incentives for rooftop solar known as the CSI, or California Solar Initiative.

You can check out The Solar Foundation’s interactive state-by-state map here.

“The Solar Foundation’s map illustrates that solar is an economic engine in California. Pro-business policies that lower solar costs and increase demand are helping to drive solar job growth in communities throughout the state,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The Solar Foundation found that the top ten states for solar jobs in 2012 were California, Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, Texas, Michigan, and Ohio. In Texas, 3,200 people work in the solar industry, compared to 2,140 in ranching.

Dana Hull Dana Hull (230 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.