Georgia Solar Industry Jobs Grow by Nearly 13%: Now Ranks 14th in the Country

In February, The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, released its updated State Solar Jobs Map (www.SolarStates.org). Nevada led the U.S. in solar jobs; according to TSF, "Nevada’s solar industry employed 5,900 Nevadans in 2014 and added 3,500 solar jobs over the previous year. Nevada’s 146% solar industry employment growth allowed it to rise back to 7th in rankings of highest number of solar jobs by state—and #1 in solar jobs per capita."

But lest you think all solar job creation is in the Southwest, "The Census found that Georgia’s solar industry employed approximately 2,900 Georgians in 2014 and added nearly 300 solar jobs over the previous year. Georgia’s 13% solar industry employment growth allowed it to rise back to 14th in rankings of highest number of solar jobs by state. Solar employment in Georgia grew more than 6 times faster than the Georgia’s average employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same period."

Which begs the question: Is Alabama listening?

The full press release is copied below:

Atlanta, GA, Feb. 12, 2015 – The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit research and education organization, today released its Georgia Solar Jobs Census.  The Census found that Georgia’s solar industry employed approximately 2,900 Georgians in 2014 and added nearly 300 solar jobs over the previous year. Georgia’s 13% solar industry employment growth allowed it to rise back to 14th in rankings of highest number of solar jobs by state. Solar employment in Georgia grew more than 6 times faster than the Georgia’s average employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same period.

“Georgia has great sun, we have a talented workforce and we’re putting all the pieces in place to take off as a solar industry leader. This latest jobs report not only shows how growing and dynamic Georgia’s solar workforce is right now—but how bright the future is,” said Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission.

 

“Georgia solar jobs have more than tripled in just two years and the state stands out as one of the bright spots for solar jobs creation in the Southeast.” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “Most importantly, Georgia is poised to see even greater growth in the coming years. Residential installation jobs have lagged in the state—but policy changes could have a big impact on driving future job growth.”

“Such explosive economic growth and job creation is a testament to the fact that the solar industry that is ready to grow exponentially in the state. Georgia’s workforce is ready–from its high tech engineering skills to its tech savvy workers, to the sophistication of its financial markets and the professional service providers, lawyers and accountants, who can all play an important role in making Georgia a solar jobs success,” said Lee Peterson, Senior Manager for Cohn Reznick, LLP in its Renewable Energy Group.

“The study shows both aggressive hiring and clear optimism among Georgia solar companies,” said Philip Jordan, Vice President at BW Research Partnership. “Of particular interest was the high wages among solar installers and the fact that the majority of new jobs did not require a college degree.”

The National Solar Jobs Census 2014 – of which the Georgia report is an offshoot – was conducted by The Solar Foundation and BW Research Partnership with support from The George Washington University. The report, derived from data collected from more than 7,600 U.S. businesses, measured employment growth in the solar industry between November 2013 and November 2014. The margin of error of this data set is +/-2.03%, significantly lower than any similar national industry study.

The full National Solar Jobs Census and State Solar Jobs Census reports with district level jobs for California, Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, Texas and New York are available at www.TSFCensus.org.  Job numbers and rankings of economic indicators for all 50 states are available in The Solar Foundation’s undated State Solar Jobs Map at www.SolarStates.org.

About The Solar Foundation:

The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research that educates the public and transforms markets. Since 2010, TSF has published its annual National Solar Jobs Census, which established the first credible solar jobs base line for the U.S. The Solar Foundation is considered the nation’s authority on the solar workforce and advises many organizations on the topic. TSF is the leading nonprofit technical assistance provider for local governments through its work with the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, TSF chairs the National Solar Schools Consortium, a group of stakeholders seeking to make solar a larger part of the national K-12 system. More at www.TheSolarFoundation.org

About BW Research Partnership:

BW Research is widely regarded as the national leader in labor market analysis for emerging industries and clean energy technologies. BW Research provides high quality data and keen insight into economic and workforce issues related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, recycling, water, waste, and wastewater management, and other environmental fields. The principals of the firm are committed to providing research and analysis for data-driven decision-making. More at http://www.bwresearch.com/