US Solar Census highlights boom while Australia dithers
Figures released overnight by the US Solar Foundation, as part of their annual National Solar Jobs Census, reveal a growth industry that employs twice as many people as the American coal industry.
“We shouldn't be surprised at these figures, but they should be a true wake up call to our leaders in Australia, the sunniest country on earth,” said Shani Tager, Senior Solar Campaigner, Solar Citizens.
“These are some substantial numbers that once again reinforce the enormous employment and investment opportunities that solar power technology offers right around the world.
“This is what the solar revolution looks like and Australia really needs to up its game to make sure that we don't miss out on the bright opportunities of this boom.
“Right now, our national leaders seem to not just be asleep at the wheel on renewable energy policy, but contemplating flicking the switch to a polluting past,” said Tager.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March last year, showed that in Australia there were 7480 jobs in solar pv, and 830 in large scale solar. The number of jobs in rooftop solar had collapsed from a previous high of around 14,300 jobs four years before.
The National Solar Jobs Census is the first and most authoritative US national benchmark for solar jobs research. It serves a critical role in understanding the impact of solar energy development in the United States. http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-jobs-census/
First conducted in 2010, the US National Solar Jobs Census uses a rigorous, dual methodology to derive total solar employment figures, as well as important insights as reported by the thousands of employers who participate in data collection.
“It is startling to see that there are more solar workers in the US than people employed at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google combined.
“Solar technology is clearly where the future is,” she said.
This Census reveals that in 2016 there were 260,077 American jobs in solar, a 25% increase from 2015. Solar jobs grew 17 times faster than the overall economy in 2016, with 1 in 50 new jobs in 2016 being solar workers.
“The Solar Foundation’s data confirms that solar employs more than twice as many Americans as the entire coal industry and as many Americans as the natural gas industry.
“Investment in solar pv has been the backbone of the renewables revolution in Australia but we clearly need to urgently get our policy settings right so we don't miss the boom of investment and opportunities that other countries, like the US, are attracting,” said Ms Tager.
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