On November 14th, 2012, The Solar Foundation released its third annual National Solar Jobs Census report, which found that the U.S. solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar workers and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past 12 months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the overall economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent during the same period*, signifying that 1 in 230 jobs created nationally over the last year were created in the solar industry.
Solar access rights refer to the rights of individuals to install solar energy systems on their own property and to protect these systems' access to sunlight. Despite the fact that more than 90% of Americans support using more solar energy, some communities (governed by public or private entities) are bound by rules that may prevent property owners from installing solar energy systems on their homes or businesses.
In order to enhance the training of solar professionals, The Solar Foundation has been an active supporter of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in its capacity as the National Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN). This "train-the-trainer" program is designed to fulfill the need for high quality solar workforce training programs and instructors.
In 2010, The Solar Foundation (TSF) released the National Solar Jobs Census 2010. TSF contracted with Green LMI, a labor market research firm, and partnered with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations to author the first-of-its-kind report. The award-winning Census established the first credible solar jobs baseline and continues to provide policy-makers with tangible proof that the solar industry is having a positive and substantial impact on the U.S. economy.