Saying it revealed “very encouraging trends,” Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), today applauded the findings of The Solar Foundation’s latest State Solar Job Census.
“Solar energy continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States,” Resch said. “The latest state-by-state breakdown of solar jobs nationwide not only shows impressive growth by our industry – but it also reveals some very encouraging trends. Big gains in employment are no longer limited to solar-friendly California and the sunny Southwest. Employment is also booming in East Coast states, including Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Maryland, while significantly growing in the southern states of Texas, Georgia and Florida.
“From coast to coast, solar is having a huge impact on both our economy and environment. Today, the solar industry employs nearly 175,000 Americans and pumps more than $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy – and we’re just scratching the surface of our enormous potential.”
According to SEIA/GTM Research, the U.S. has an estimated 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in the United States – or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey – with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015-16. In addition, innovative solar heating and cooling systems (SHC) are offering American consumers cost-efficient, effective options for meeting their energy needs, while lowering their utility bills.
From an environmental perspective, solar helped to offset an estimated 20 million metric tons of harmful CO2 emissions in 2014, which is the equivalent of taking four million cars off U.S. highways or saving 2.1 billion gallons of gasoline.