Solar Energy Jobs On The Rise In The US

IREC: US Utility Scale Solar Jobs Dropped, While Those In Residential Segment Increased In 2022

Solar Energy Jobs On The Rise In The US

According to IREC’s solar jobs census report, in 2022 the US is expected to grow employment in various segments. (Photo Credit: IREC)

  • IREC’s 13th annual National Solar Jobs Census claims the US employed 263,883 solar workers
  • It includes 33,473 jobs in the manufacturing segment, which analysts expect to grow as various IRA-inspired announcement come to fruition in the future
  • California was the largest employing state, having added 2,404 new jobs in the solar industry in 2022

Jobs in the solar energy sector in the US increased by 8,846 in 2022 to employ a total of 263,883 workers according to the 13th annual National Solar Jobs Census by independent non-profit Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Over the next decade, by 2033 the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) believes solar manufacturing jobs will likely employ some 120,000 workers.

“While the solar workforce saw modest growth in 2022, it could have been a lot stronger without trade uncertainty and supply chain disruptions that caused a dip in solar jobs in the utility-scale sector. Still, the solar industry remained resilient and kept more than quarter-million Americans on the payroll,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper.

According to the IREC report, solar jobs in the US grew annually by 3.5% in 2022. While jobs in the residential segment grew by 11% or about 9,500 jobs, utility scale segment lost about 6,000 jobs. Installation and project development employed about 171,558 people, manufacturing 33,473, wholesale trade and distribution 30,618, operations and maintenance another 16,585, among other categories.

Even though manufacturing jobs did not grow as did the announcements encouraged by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), IREC analysts say once the announcements materialize this segment could see jobs increasing substantially, and so will other segments in 2023.

“With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we can look forward to transformational jobs growth in solar, batteries, and other clean energy industries in the years ahead,” stated President and CEO at IREC Larry Sherwood.

The country’s largest solar market California was also the state with the largest share of new jobs added at 2,404.

In terms of diversification, the census counts proportion of women in the solar workforce to have increased from 27% in 2017 to 31% in 2022, while black people made up 9%.

As per the report, 44% of solar industry employers found it difficult to find qualified applicants which the IREC says is the highest such percentage ever recorded in the Solar Jobs Census, hinting at a tight labor market having increased hiring challenges.

This year, IREC has also included data on other clean energy industries in the report. Clean storage jobs increased 4.6% annually to 85,858 workers, wind energy jobs went up 4.5% to 125,580.

In all, there were 546,630 workers in renewable energy generation industries, including solar, wind, traditional hydropower (54,595), low-impact hydropower (11,677), and geothermal (8,635).

Complete report is available on the IREC’s website.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews, she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. In the past 9 years that she has been associated with TaiyangNews, she has covered over thousands of stories, and analysis pieces on markets, technology, financials, and more on a daily basis. She also hosts TaiyangNews Conferences and Webinars. Prior to joining TaiyangNews, Anu reported on sustainability, management, and education for leading print dailies in India. [email protected]

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