Washington, D.C. – The U.S. solar industry employed nearly 250,000 workers in 2019, an increase of more than 5,600 jobs (or 2.3%) since 2018, according to the 10th annual National Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation. This marks a resurgence in solar industry employment following two years of job losses in 2017 and 2018.
The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit educational and research organization, issues the National Solar Jobs Census each year to provide comprehensive and reliable data on the U.S. solar workforce. Since the first Solar Jobs Census was published, American solar jobs have increased 167%, from just over 93,000 jobs in 2010 to 249,983 jobs in 2019.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Congress and the White House were unable to agree on including an extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in an end of year tax package, meaning the credit will decrease at the end of this year. The measure also failed to include energy storage in the ITC. This represents a missed opportunity to take an achievable step to boost the economy, add jobs and reduce carbon emissions.
Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on this development:
“While I’m disappointed by this missed opportunity to boost the U.S. economy and jobs, and tackle climate change, I’m heartened that voter support for clean energy policies is at an all-time high. The solar ITC is a proven way to generate tens of billions of dollars in private investment each year, while substantially reducing carbon emissions. We will look for opportunities next year to again engage our incredibly supportive solar community and work with Congress on clean energy policies that work for all Americans.”Read the entire news release here.
The Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) and Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO have announced a unique, new union apprenticeship program that provides world-class skills training and a path to employment for in-demand jobs in the renewable energy sector. The Department of Labor (DOL)-certified, program provides individuals with specialized skills to remain at the forefront of the offshore and onshore wind, solar generation and battery storage fields.
“These are the jobs of the future and if we’re going to remain on the cutting edge of the energy industry, the skills we teach must reflect those of the ever-changing energy industry,” said Jon Harmon, P4A executive director. “This important program taps into P4A’s decade of success training and placing individuals in high-skilled positions that allow them to stand-out in the workplace and be placed in a good, family-supporting jobs.” Read more here.
Shout It From the Rooftops: Solar Delivers Far More Than Renewable Energy, Greentech Media A new study from Environment America Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group, The True Value of Solar: Measuring The Benefits of Rooftop Solar Power, lays out the many benefits that rooftop solar panels deliver beyond the household beneath them. These benefits fall into two main categories: benefits to the grid and all of the energy customers who depend on it, and benefits to society as a whole.
Global smart meters expected to double by 2024, Renewable Energy Magazine The total number of smart meters around the world is expected to almost double over 2017 levels by 2024, opening up new opportunities for customer-side control and analytics, according to a new report by energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
In the past few years, several other states—including New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois—have passed laws enabling solar garden programs. But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production. Read more here.
By Craig Duff, a Chicago-based video journalist whose work has appeared on The New York Times, NBC News and MSNBC. This video explores how evolving grid technology, as well as new and existing state policies, have contributed to clean energy job growth in Illinois.
Largest U.S. Bank to Rely 100% on Renewable Energy, Environment News Service. JPMorgan Chase has announced it will source renewable power for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020. The firm has offices and operations in more than 60 countries across 5,500 properties, covering 75 million square feet. JPMorgan Chase also is making a commitment to facilitate US$200 billion in clean financing by 2025, the largest commitment to date by a global financial institution.
2016 was the first year of Minnesota’s solar bloom — but there’s plenty more to come. While even more solar sites are planned to be built in the years ahead, tens of millions of native flowers and short-growing meadow grasses will be taking root under and around the panels. Look for black-eyed susans to develop faster than the rest, followed by purple prairie clover, partridge pea, butterfly weed, and more. Continue reading.
Sure pipelines are good for oil companies, but what about jobs related to preserving nature and culture? By Chip Colwell, Lecturer on Anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver. Published by The Conversation. In 2015, for instance, more than 305 million people visited national parks. These tourists spent nearly $16 billion on an array of local
services – hotels, gas stations, restaurants – helping to sustain nearly 300,000 jobs. Tourists and travelers visit scores of other national, state and local parks, spending their money to enjoy nature and cultural sites.
A community solar program in coal country would have been unheard of as recently as five years ago. But in light of a recent report that most U.S. utilities say they will close coal-fired generation plants to comply with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, coal country is becoming increasingly fertile solar ground. Utilities plan to take enough coal-fired plants to generate 20.5 TWh of energy annually off the books in 2017 alone. Read more here.
A terawatt (TW) is the equivalent of one trillion (1012)) watts.
1 terawatt (TW) for 1 hr = 1 terawatt hour (TWh) or 1 gigawatt (GW) for 1000 hrs = 1 terawatt hour (TWh).
A terawatt-hour (TWh) is equal to 1,000,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), or 1,000,000 megawatt hours (MWh) or 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh). The average household uses approximately 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison has agreed to test whether customers with smart electric meters use less power and cause less damage to the environment than consumers with conventional meters.
“The ability to calculate the environmental benefits of clean energy investments, like smart meters, is critical to accelerating the new energy economy,” said the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which negotiated the agreement with ComEd, along with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board.