US: new tool to illustrate solar job creation

The number of jobs being created in the U.S. by the solar industry has been illustrated in an interactive map, released today. The map is the work of The Solar Foundation (TSF), a non-profit organization, which works to promote solar through education and research.

The State Solar Jobs Map shows that 120,000 Americans now work in the solar industry, double the number three years ago. On a state level, unsurprisingly, California has taken the number one spot, followed by Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, Texas, Michigan and Ohio.

The data demonstrates that there are more solar employees than actors in California. It was assembled from a number of sources including TSF’s National Solar Jobs Census 2012 and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s National Solar Database.

"These solar jobs figures demonstrate that the U.S. solar industry remains a powerful source of job creation," TSF wrote in a statement announcing the map’s completion.

Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association added, "Solar is the fastest-growing clean energy technology available today and employment in our industry has doubled over the past three years. Strong state solar policies, including renewable portfolio standards, third-party financing availability, and net metering have driven this tremendous state growth. Ensuring policy certainty throughout the U.S. will help to accelerate this trend and lead to more job creation where it’s most needed."

TSF will update the map once a year. "To compile all the data, to analyze it and put it into useable form, that takes money," said TSF executive direction Andrea Luecke, in an interview with, Solar Power World. "We’re a non-profit, so we depend on donations and grants to make it happen."