IREC Reports Solar Energy Employment Increases Throughout Almost All States in 2021


Larry Sherwood

Solar energy jobs rose in 47 states and elevated 9% nationwide from 2020 to 2021 to a complete of 255,037 solar staff, based on the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) annual National Solar Jobs Census.

This job progress came about in a 12 months of file solar installations pushed by elevated demand for renewable energy amongst residential prospects, municipalities, companies and electrical utilities. Overall, the solar business added 21,563 jobs in 2021, with greater than two-thirds of those new jobs (14,350) at set up and undertaking improvement companies.

“America’s solar industry came back strong from the pandemic to expand the clean energy workforce across all regions of the country,” states Larry Sherwood, president and CEO at IREC. “The future remains uncertain in light of the supply chain disruptions, trade issues, and stalled federal policy in the first part of 2022. There is potential for unprecedented job growth in the coming years if federal, state, and local leaders take action to expand clean energy use and address climate change.”

Over the previous decade, U.S. solar employment has greater than doubled from 105,145 jobs in 2011 to 255,037 jobs in 2021. The most vital progress has taken place within the set up and undertaking improvement sector, the place employment greater than tripled since 2011 to succeed in 168,960 jobs in 2021.

At the state degree, California continues to guide within the whole variety of solar jobs with 75,712 jobs as of 2021, adopted by Florida (11,761 jobs), Massachusetts (10,548 jobs), New York (10,524 jobs) and Texas (10,346 jobs). These are adopted by Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, every with 7,000 to 9,000 jobs.

California additionally led for the variety of jobs added in 2021 (7,035 new jobs), adopted by Massachusetts (+1,053 jobs), Nevada (+1,019 jobs) and Arizona (+932 jobs). Other sturdy progress states have been Ohio, North Carolina, New Jersey and Georgia, every with 800–900 new jobs.

“Solar energy is an economic growth engine, creating new jobs while it helps us confront the climate crisis,” says Dan Reicher, senior scholar at Stanford Woods Institute and a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy. “There is vast and untapped potential to expand solar installations and related jobs across the United States, in an environmentally sustainable manner, as we help businesses and families access this renewable energy source.”

The solar business nonetheless has extra work to do to satisfy its objectives for range, fairness and inclusion, and lengthen the advantages of the clear energy economic system to underrepresented teams. The report discovered that ladies made up just below 30% of the solar workforce in 2021, whereas Black workers made up 8% of the workforce, Latino or Hispanic staff made up 20%, and Asian staff made up 9%. Fewer than one-third of solar companies reported methods to extend feminine, ethnic or racial minority, or LGBTQ+ hires.

The solar business can provide a path to development and a family-sustaining profession, together with for these with no two- or four-year faculty diploma. Less than one-third of entry-level solar jobs (31%) require a bachelor’s diploma, whereas 65 p.c of companies present on-the-job coaching. In a 12 months with a decent labor market, 89% of companies reported problem discovering certified candidates, together with 35 p.c that stated it was “very difficult.”

“These 2021 findings highlight that we can create family-sustaining jobs at the same time that we reduce carbon emissions,” provides Tom Starrs, vice chairman of presidency and public affairs at EDP Renewables. “They also highlight the critical importance of supportive policies to unlock the full potential of the solar industry to drive employment, foster local energy resilience, and confront climate change.”

This report analyzes knowledge from the U.S. Department of Energy’s U.S. Energy and Employment Report 2022 and a supplemental follow-up survey of solar institutions. Both surveys have been administered by BW Research Partnership. The National Solar Jobs Census defines a solar worker as somebody who spends 50% or extra of their time on solar-related work.

Read the complete report right here.


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