PHOENIX - An estimated 8,558 people in Arizona were employed manufacturing and installing pollution-free solar energy in 2013, according to a national Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation. According to the analysis, Arizona continues to rank 2nd in the nation for solar jobs despite a dip in Arizona’s overall number since last year’s census.
“The sun is an unlimited energy source that could provide all of our power without the pollution associated with fossil fuels,” said Bret Fanshaw, State Advocate with Environment Arizona. “This report shows that the solar industry is putting people to work in Arizona to meet a growing percentage of our energy needs with a pollution-free energy source that has no fuel costs.”
Solar is on the rise in Arizona and across the country. According to a report released last summer by the Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center, the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy is essential for the development of a solar industry.
“The sky’s the limit on solar,” said Fanshaw. “But right now, less than 2 percent of our energy comes from the sun. To take it to the next level, we need to rally around a bigger vision on solar energy while defending and improving the programs that work today.”
The National Solar Jobs Census released today by The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, found that the U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans in 2013. That figure includes the addition of 23,682 solar jobs over the previous year, representing 19.9 percent growth in employment since September 2012. Solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same period. Statistics on all 50 states can be found on TSF’s interactive map, available at www.SolarStates.org.