Opportunities in the solar power industry continue to multiply as the sector saw an increase of more than 51,000 jobs in 2016, according to research from The Solar Foundation.
Each year, The Solar Foundation puts out a report called National Solar Jobs Census and the latest edition showed a 25-percent growth in employment from 2015 to 2016, for a total of more than 260,000 jobs across the entire industry. Since the nonprofit started releasing these annual reports in 2010, employment in the solar power industry has tripled.
The latest report also showed one in every 50 new American jobs created in 2016 was in the solar industry, which represented 2 percent of all new US jobs for the year.
Furthermore, those looking to find a new job in the industry can expect rosy prospects. Companies surveyed by The Solar Foundation said they expect employment in their industry rise by 10 percent in 2017, to nearly 290,000 jobs for the entire industry. For those open to relocating for solar power employment, the five states with the most solar employment in 2016 were California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada and Texas.
In conducting their survey, The Solar Foundation has considered a ‘solar job’ to be one that involves at least half of the time spent doing solar power-relevant work. The nonprofit has persistently reported that around 90 percent of what it considers to be ‘solar jobs’ to involve 100 percent of the time spent on solar-related work.
Part of that surge in solar jobs might be due to the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which had been slated to expire at the end of 2016. Seeing an impending end to the credit, developers pushed solar projects that would come online before the end of last year. However, an extension was passed and now the tax credit will be available in some form through the first few years of the next decade.
A report published last year by GTM Research in conjunction with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) suggested the rollout local solar power, utility-backed efforts and rooftop solar would be three crucial factor to drive demand in the coming months.
As far as community projects, the SEIA report said major projects in Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota would install more than 100 megawatts of solar power. While residential and business facilities are also expected to keep demand up, the recent reset of the ITC is expected to push substantial market growth through to 2020 and beyond.
According to the SEIA website, the tax credit has proven to be the most crucial federal policy to incentivize the adoption of solar energy in the United States.
“The ITC is nothing short of a tax policy success story and we expect this fact to continue to play out over the next several years,” the industry organization said.
At NSC Technologies, we keep our fingers on the pulses of many industries to better support both our client companies and our contract workers. If you are looking for a new job in the rapidly-growing solar industry, please contact us today to find out how we can help you!