Employment in the solar industry is on the rise!
The Solar Foundation recently released their annual National Solar Jobs Census for 2016, and found a 25% increase in people employed in the solar industry over 2015. Here are some facts and figures:
- · Compared to 208,859 people working in the solar industry in 2015, there were 260,077 in 2016
- · Expect that there will be at least another 10% increase in 2017
- · Employment in the solar industry has nearly tripled since 2010
- · 2% of all new jobs in the US in 2016 were created by the solar industry
- · Solar has added $84 billion to the US GDP in 2016
Illinois saw growth in 2016 as well, with a lot more expected in 2017 following the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act.
- · Compared to 3,483 people in the solar industry in 2015, there were 3,718 in 2016, a 7% increase
- · Expect that there will be at least another 5% increase in 2017
- · Illinois is ranked 17th in number of solar jobs nationwide
- · 6% increase in the solar industry’s share of the statewide workforce since 2015
- · 233 solar companies based in Illinois – 10th most in the country
- · 251% increase in solar project development, though slight decrease in installation, manufacturing, and distribution
- · There’s enough solar in Illinois to completely power 10,192 homes!
- · Most solar in 2016 was focused in Cook County, though there was significant work done in DuPage, Lake, Will, and Sangamon
The renewable energy ball has really started rolling. If the solar industry continues on its established trend, we can expect to see a lot more growth in even the next few years. In particular, all eyes will be on Illinois in 2017 and 2018 as it implements the Future Energy Jobs Act. When this boosts solar jobs as expected, will other states follow suit?