Solar power means jobs—lots of them. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association’s 2012 review of national solar employment, there are over 119,000 solar jobs spread across all 50 states, more workers than in U.S. steel production or coal mining. This represents a 13.2 percent increase of employment totals from 2011, with workers employed at 5,600 businesses operating in over 6,500 locations around the U.S.
Why does clean energy generate so many jobs? Unlike most traditional forms of energy, renewable energy development is labor intensive, which leads to significantly more jobs per unit of production than non-renewable resources. In addition, renewable energy development generates new jobs in urban, suburban and rural areas, in all sectors of our economy, from manufacturing to construction to the professional services. According to CleanEdge, a leading clean energy research firm, investment in renewable energy creates two to four times the number of jobs than from conventional electricity sources.
SolarReserve generates hundreds of direct jobs and thousands of indirect induced jobs for each and every project. For example, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is expected to create more than 600 jobs on the project site over the 30-month construction period and thousands direct and indirect induced jobs in the facility supply chain including manufacturing, value-added services and transportation. Additionally, the project will employ 45 full-time operational staff and will spend upwards to $10 million per year in operating costs and is forecasted to generate $37 million in total tax revenues over the first 10 years of operation, contributing to local school systems and police and fire departments.
This growth in solar jobs will bring new training and skills to keep U.S. workers competitive in ever increasing globalized markets.