Almost 10K solar, wind jobs announced in 3rd quarter — report

Source: Ben Panko, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015

U.S. companies announced almost 10,000 new clean energy and transportation jobs in the third quarter of this year, with a host of solar and wind projects pushing Utah to the top of the job growth rankings, a new report says.

The solar industry accounted for 7,300 of the announced jobs at 23 separate projects, according to the report from the nonprofit Environmental Entrepreneurs. The wind industry announced more than 2,500 jobs at 11 separate projects, it said.

Utah-based Vivint Solar Inc. unveiled plans to expand its hiring over the next decade, while SolarCity Corp. said in July that it will open a regional headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Nearly 3,000 of the jobs will be in Utah, which has seen its solar industry rapidly expand in 2015 (EnergyWire, March 12). California contributed 1,916 jobs to rank second, according to the report, which praised the state’s passage of a bill in September mandating more renewable energy and higher building efficiency standards (ClimateWire, Sept. 14).

Colorado came in third with 850 jobs, largely from its steadily growing wind industry (ClimateWire, Jan. 29).

Rounding out the top 10 states were Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, Mississippi and North Dakota.

The report praised U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan and urged state and federal lawmakers to swiftly implement it. It also recommended that Congress extend a federal solar tax credit that will expire at the end of 2016 (E&ENews PM, Nov. 3).

“Clean energy continues to put more Americans to work every day all across our country,” E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe said in a statement. “We can keep that growth going — but only if our state and federal lawmakers take action on the clean energy policies now before them.”

The report concluded, “To continue clean energy job growth, federal and state policymakers must provide businesses with the regulatory certainty and strong market signals they need to make new investments and expand operations.”