California Solar Jobs Top 75,000 — San Diego Solar Jobs Top 8,400
As a direct result of California’s long-standing commitment to clean energy and technological innovation, the state’s solar employment ranks grew 38% in 2015, adding over 20,000 new jobs and hitting an all-time of high of 75,598 solar jobs, according to the latest report by The Solar Foundation, “California Solar Jobs Census 2015.” Solar workers in San Diego account for 8,400 of those jobs.
The California solar industry praised local policy makers for their continued support of this new clean energy market, pointing to recent decisions around net energy metering, extension of the federal investment tax credit, and the state’s 50% by 2030 renewable portfolio standard in SB 350 (de León) – all that help create certainty and consumer adoption of alternative ways of generating power.
“Solar power is a bright spot in California’s economy, bringing jobs and economic development to every corner of the state,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA). “While conventional energy industries are losing jobs, we are seeing record growth, and bringing clean air and climate solutions along the way.”
The Solar Foundation also studied the job growth in other states and concluded that while California is by far the nation’s leader in solar development and job growth, there are other markets worth watching. In fact, thirty-three states, including the District of Columbia, saw positive solar jobs growth over the past year, and many states experienced double‐digit growth.
Other California solar jobs facts:
- Installation companies, driven mainly by the “customer-side of the meter”, i.e. “rooftop” sector, are responsible for 54% of all solar jobs in California, totaling 40,597, and saw a 29% growth rate in 2015.
- Sales and distribution jobs were the second most numerous, with 11,223 jobs statewide, and showing a nearly 50% growth over the previous year.
- A very close third, in-state solar manufacturing sector jobs also grew in 2015, with 11,183 solar jobs in California.
- Last but not least, jobs within the project development sector, typically focused on large commercial projects, grew at the fastest rate, adding nearly 6,000 solar workers in 2015. Such growth may have been driven by fears around the reduction in the federal tax credit.
- To put 75,000 solar jobs into perspective, according to CALSEIA, it is more than the state’s five largest utilities combined.