A new report from a think tank headed by former Energy Secretary Moniz reveals an additional 100,000 jobs with a part-time solar component, and hints at the political powerhouse that solar is becoming.
In the 1990s, the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid” became a de facto slogan for the successful campaign of Bill Clinton (D) for president of the United States. But as the nation sees growing inequality and a shortage of well-paying jobs a full decade after the last recession, this phrase could be updated to “it’s the jobs”.
By this metric, solar is delivering for hundreds of thousands of Americans and their families. According to the latest version of the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census, 250,000 Americans were spending 50% or more of their working in solar, with solar taking up all the working hours of 89% of these workers.
But what about the workers that are only spending part of their time working in solar? According to a new report by the Energy Future Initiative, there are another 100,000 Americans workers whose jobs have a part-time solar component, for a total of 350,000 workers employed in whole or in part by solar (with some reports suggesting a peak of 373,000 workers at the end of 2016 PDF).