Utah Gains More than 1,700 Solar Jobs in 2016
National Solar Jobs Census finds solar employment in Utah increased by 65 percent
SALT LAKE CITY, February 7, 2017 — Utah gained 1,729 solar industry jobs in 2016, representing a 65 percent increase in the state’s solar workforce, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2016 released today by The Solar Foundation. Utah now has a total of 4,408 solar workers, up from 2,679 in 2015. Utah now ranks 14th in the nation for the number of solar jobs by state, and ranks seventh nationwide on a per capita basis.
“As the largest solar employer in Utah, Vivint Solar is proud to contribute to the growth of Utah’s residential solar industry, one of the largest and strongest sources of job creation in the state over the past five years,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “We believe our industry’s expansion underscores the strong consumer demand for rooftop solar and energy independence.”
The National Solar Jobs Census 2016 is The Solar Foundation’s seventh annual report on the solar workforce nationwide and by state. The report found the American solar workforce grew at a historic pace in 2016, in a year when one out of every fifty new U.S. jobs was in the solar industry.
“As one of Utah’s first renewable energy companies, Intermountain Wind and Solar has experienced impressive growth over the last several years,” said Doug Shipley, CEO of Intermountain Wind & Solar. “We look forward to further contributing to Utah’s future growth as battery prices come down and we see a one/two punch from solar and storage that will lead to greater energy independence and cleaner air for more Utahns.”
Nationwide, solar industry employment outpaced the overall U.S. economy by 17 times, increasing by over 51,000 jobs. There are currently 260,077 solar workers in the U.S.. The American solar workforce grew by 25 percent over 2015, the largest annual growth percentage since the foundation’s first solar jobs census was released in 2010. A complete list of the number of solar jobs by state, along with state growth rates over 2015, can be found at SolarJobsCensus.org.
“The strong growth of jobs in Utah shown in the Solar Foundation Census comes as no surprise to many of us in Utah,” said Ryan Evans, president of the Utah Solar Energy Association. “Virtually all of our member firms grew in size to keep up with high consumer demand in 2016, due in large part to the decrease in the cost of solar energy and because of the environmental benefits that come from clean, reliable energy. It is as clear as ever that the solar industry can be an important economic driver in our state.”