LOS ANGELES – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) today highlighted the strength of the U.S. solar job market in the face of high nationwide unemployment. The announcement was made at Solar Power International 2010, North America's largest business-to-business solar conference and exhibition.
The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit research and policy organization, released the "National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce." This first-ever review of national solar employment identified more than 16,700 solar employment sites and 93,000 solar jobs in all 50 states. Additionally, the report found that solar employers expect to increase the number of solar workers by 26 percent, representing nearly 24,000 net new jobs by August 2011.
Complementing the National Solar Jobs Census 2010, SEIA launched the Solar Works for America website to showcase the extraordinary work of real people in the solar industry. The website features state-by-state solar employment data, solar companies and the personal stories and photos of local workers in all 50 states.
The site includes a new webisode series produced by the trade group. The Solar Generation USA Road Trip chronicles a film-crew traveling cross-country from the East coast to the West, touring solar installations and manufacturing sites and interviewing workers and solar clients along the way.
"Over the past 10 years, a strong and vibrant solar industry has emerged through innovation, market forces and smart government policies to create thousands of jobs across the value chain from manufacturing and engineering, construction and sales, to installation and other supporting industries," said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. "This unprecedented census of jobs in the industry and the individual stories behind Solar Works for America illustrate that solar is indeed working for America in all 50 states and will only continue to grow stronger."
"The sun generates more energy in an hour than all the coal mines and oil wells in the world do in a year. This report shows we are on the way to tapping the sun's potential, generating pollution free energy and a tremendous number of good, green jobs along the way," said Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America. "Strong leadership from Washington will be critical to turning this solar opportunity into a solar reality."
"This important report demonstrates that the solar industry is a true area of growth for our economy - creating jobs across the country while helping to transition our nation to renewable sources of energy," said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster. "It is critical that we continue to pursue policies and investments that facilitate the continued growth of this industry and the continued development of a clean, renewable energy economy."
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org