Andrea Luecke, Executive Director and President of The Solar Foundation
February 11, 2014
In late January 2014, The Solar
Foundation released its National Solar Jobs Census 2013, showing that the U.S. solar
industry employs 142,698 solar workers as of November 2013. In
addition to this important piece of national solar labor market research, we
have also continued to focus more heavily on employment at the state level. The
release of last year’s State Solar Jobs
Map represented our first major foray into developing reliable state-level jobs
estimates. Using the latest employment data gathered from the Census 2013 research effort and current
information on the number of U.S. solar companies from the Solar Energy
Industries Association’s National Solar
Database, we have updated the State
Solar Jobs Map with 2013 employment figures. In addition to this update, we
also performed the first-ever “deep dive” into district-level solar employment
in select states using our survey-based Census
The State Solar Jobs Map and our Arizona, California, and Minnesota State
Solar Jobs Census reports provide a tremendous amount of valuable
information. Given this, we thought a blog post showcasing some top-level
results would be in order.
Philip Haddix, Project Manager at The Solar Foundation
June 6th, 2013
As part of the U.S. Department of
Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, The Solar Foundation has been active
in conducting solar outreach and providing technical assistance to local
governments and communities interested in overcoming barriers to increased
solar deployment. Today, we are pleased to announce the release of a new
resource that represents an expansion in the Solar Outreach Partnership’s
efforts to bring more solar to more communities across the nation.
Homeowners in communities
governed by HOAs often run into administrative roadblocks when pursuing their
desire to go solar, either discovering that the process of obtaining HOA
approval is too complex or that restrictions present in architectural
guidelines reduce or eliminate the economic benefit of investing in solar. A
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Encouraging Solar Development through
Community Association Policies and Processesis a new guide designed to
educate homeowner association (HOA) boards and other leaders in these
communities on how solar development can occur while respecting other
legitimate community interests and without requiring HOAs to further cede their
authority to govern.
Andrea Luecke, Executive Director of The Solar Foundation
April 18th, 2013
Through our National Solar Jobs Census series and other labor market research efforts, we have been working hard to raise public awareness of the employment value of the solar industry.
To this end, we are very proud to announce that our State Solar Jobs Map (www.solarstates.org) went live this morning. This interactive map provides the first-ever count of solar workers in each of the 50 states and includes individual state profiles containing figures on jobs as well as solar subsector ranks by employment, key solar policies, homes powered by solar, and a handful of other useful facts. Visitors can show their support for solar in their home state by sharing these profiles through social media and email.
Since I feel our map does such a great job telling each state’s story, I don’t want to reproduce the information it contains. What I would like to do in today’s blog post, however, is provide a little bit of analysis.
After being bombarded with political ads for the past few months, most of us are relieved we no longer encounter them everywhere we turn. But imagine if you heard one like this:
I’m the candidate who can take credit for
adding nearly 14,000 American workers in the past year and supporting an
industry that has experienced an astounding 27 percent job growth since 2010.
I’m creating highly skilled, domestic jobs that pay well. I’m the U.S. solar
industry and I approve this message.
After a grueling and largely negative campaign
season, this is the kind of positive message Americans want to hear. And it is
backed by fact, not spin.
Today, my organization, The Solar Foundation,
released its third annual National Solar Jobs Census, which found that the U.S. solar
industry now employs 119,016 Americans. That’s an increase of 13,872 workers
and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the previous year’s total.
That’s a job creation record any candidate would love to run on.
Andrea Luecke, Executive Director, The Solar Foundation
November 1, 2012
In today’s economy, many people are asking, “Where are all
the jobs?” The solar industry, however, could
soon be asking a question of a different tune: “Where are all the workers?”
Ironically, one of the solar industry’s chief problems –
insufficient workforce training – is a direct consequence of its success. The
solar industry continues along its upward trend, outpacing nearly all other
industries and creating thousands of new jobs per year as companies expand
their workforce to respond to increased solar demand. However, there is, at
present, a dearth of trained workers with the requisite qualifications and
experience, and many companies will have to rely on poorly trained entrants,
whose substandard quality of work will invariably drive up installation costs
and cut down on sales.
by Andrea Luecke, Executive Director, The Solar Foundation
September 21, 2012
Mark Twain once declared, “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you
read the newspaper, you're misinformed.” Those
of us who follow solar in mainstream media have inevitably encountered both success
stories and failures alike.
Unfortunately, the stories of bankruptcies and layoffs have in many ways
obscured the terrific achievements and inroads the solar industry has made both
recently and over the past couple years.
By Andrea Luecke, Executive Director, The Solar Foundation
February 3, 2012
In a time characterized by a
lack of supportfor federal clean energy
legislation, heavy Congressional scrutiny over renewable energy loan
guarantees, and an international solar trade dispute that holds as many as 60,000
American jobsin the balance, it may be
difficult for some to maintain a sunny disposition regarding the state of the
domestic clean energy economy. However, a U.S. District
Court rulingfrom last fall has breathed new
life into a powerful financing program that has been in limbo for the last year
and a half.
XL Final Assessment, prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of
Policy and International Affairs by the consulting firm EnSys Energy, suggests President Obama’s denial of TransCanada’s permit for the
pipeline will have almost no impact on U.S imports of Canadian crude oil.
By Andrea Luecke, Executive Director, The Solar Foundation
December 5, 2011 - Reposted from National Journal
Right now, there are 26 million Americans unemployed, underemployed or discouraged. This is an unprecedented number and over the last two years the unemployment rate has hovered between 9 and 10%. Allowing the Section 1603 Treasury Program, a proven jobs creator, to lapse will place unnecessary cost burdens of solar companies (large and small) and stunt their ability to hire new workers.